However hard the market slams a stock, there's always the chance it'll come bouncing right back. We'll consult our Motley Fool CAPS community to find shares on the rebound, examining one specific sector of the economy in search of companies with rising CAPS ratings.          

There are 103 stocks listed under "leisure" in the CAPS' screener; more than a handful of them carry well-respected four- and five-star ratings. Those accolades mean our 170,000 CAPS members are confident that these stocks will beat the market in the months ahead, but let's see what members are saying about the ones below:

Company

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Recent Price

52-Week Price Change

Est.

5-Year Growth Rate

McDonald's (NYSE: MCD) **** $76.86 21% 10%
Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL) **** $6.29 83% 30%
Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM) **** $50.02 41% 12%


Source: Motley Fool CAPS; Yahoo! Finance.

The markets may be feeling better about the economy after a few reports have offset much of the drumbeat of negativism we've seen, but with the S&P 500 up 11% over last year, CAPS leisure stocks have done significantly better. The average stock is up more than 39% from the year-ago period.

In addition to the three above, also helping the sector's performance were gambling house Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS), which tripled in value, and fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG), up 160% year over year. Hurting returns were companies like Orbitz Worldwide, which may be negatively affected by a court case with American Airlines parent AMR on whether the airline could pull its listing from the travel agent's website.

So let's take a closer look at why investors think some of these other companies won't be jumping from the frying pan into the fire now that the markets are roiled again.

Some spring in its step
Classifying McDonald's burgers as "junk" unfit for human consumption, CAPS member georcole acknowledges that he's in the minority and that Mickey D's still has a broad following among diners. It's why he's willing to join with other investors in expecting the burger joint to outperform the markets:

Who would actually eat this garbage? Not me. I haven't had a McDonald's burger, or Burger King or Wendy's for that matter, in about six years. Sadly, I am in the minority. A lot of people eat this junk. That means that [McDonald's] makes a lot of money. They pay a 3% dividend and continue to grow and outperform the S&P despite the economy. I do not recommend this 'food' to anyone, but since so many people are into eating junk, and getting fat doing it, I do recommend the stock as an investment.

McDonald's plans to double the number of restaurants in China by 2013. Although Yum! Brands is giving it a run for its money there -- it has 3,700 restaurants in China -- the market represents the fastest-growing region for McDonald's. It took 19 years to reach 1,000 stores there and it will double that number in just three years.

Whether Yum!'s KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut chains would also earn georcole's derision is unknown, but CAPS member Speachless certainly sees the various chains as a way to play on growth in China: "Great products with KFC, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut. Great way to play the China Market with a US based multinational"

Despite McDonald's drive, however, global same-store sales in November came in lighter than expected, though overall they were 4.8% higher. McDonald's has been able to outpace Burger King and Wendy's/Arby's (NYSE: WEN) in the domestic market, but currency fluctuations are going to take a few cents away on fourth-quarter earnings.

Is it safe to feast on McDonald's stock? Add it to your stock watchlist and keep an eye on all the Foolish news and analysis about it.

Don't bet the farm
With casino gambling revenue growing at a scorching 67% rate in Macau in the first half of the year, it's not surprising to see Melco Crown Entertainment and Las Vegas Sands as big winners. Even Wynn Resorts (Nasdaq: WYNN), which saw a 50% increase in its Macau revenue last quarter, saw its stock carried some 75% higher this year.

Considering the recovery under way there, SurferBill1 figured Melco was well-positioned on the island oasis to grab a large share of the winnings:

The demographics, physical structure, and location of their Macau casino are all the right incredients for success. New-found wealth in China's middle class will provide a growing and lucritive customer base for many years to come.

The ball's in your court
There are many factors that go into whether a stock is a buy or sell, so it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made all from a stock's CAPS page. Head over to CAPS today and share your thoughts with other investor analysts on whether you think these stocks are ready to bound higher.

Chipotle is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation and a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. Melco Crown is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. The Fool owns shares of Chipotle and Yum! Brands. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. 

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not own any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.