People watch stocks for different reasons -- they're waiting for a dip in price, watching for a specific catalyst, gathering all the news and information that might affect stocks they already own, or considering a sell. Regardless of their motivation, we can better understand market sentiment by seeing who's watching what. With the Fool's free My Watchlist service, we have tens of thousands of people telling us the businesses that have, for whatever reason, piqued their interest.

The most-watched restaurant and leisure stock is ...
Looking at the aggregate data, we see that Panera Bread (Nasdaq: PNRA) is above the rest in terms of watch interest, the percentage of people keeping an eye on restaurant and leisure stocks in general who are specifically watching each company. And for good reason. As CAPS Member liszewski wrote last week:

Literally taking a page out of Peter Lynch's book. My friends constantly rave about Panera. The stock is on a roll. While it does look expensive to the value investor in me; it does not look outlandish, especially when I consider it has 1/10 the market cap of Starbucks. Input costs are of great concern on this one and must be monitored, but management seems to know what they are doing and the growth profile looks attractive. Count me in.

Here are the rest of the top 15 most-watched companies in the industry with their watch interest along with the stocks' CAPS rating to show the sentiment of our investing community.

 

Company

Market Cap (millions)

CAPS Rating

Watch Interest

1

Panera Bread

$3,843

***

17.4%

2

Yum! Brands

$24,059

****

17%

3

McDonald's

$78,247

****

12.8%

4

Starbucks

$27,512

**

11.1%

5

Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG)

$8,006

**

6.7%

6

Ctrip.com International

$5,636

****

3.9%

7

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS)

$30,381

**

3%

8

Buffalo Wild Wings

$980

***

2.8%

9

Boyd Gaming

$791

**

1.8%

10

Melco Crown Entertainment (Nasdaq: MPEL)

$4,137

****

1.5%

11

MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM)

$6,297

**

1.5%

12

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers

$413

**

1.5%

13

International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT)

$4,823

***

1%

14

Biglari Holdings

$578

***

1%

15

Wendy's/Arby's Group (NYSE: WEN)

$2,095

**

0.9%

Source: Motley Fool, Motley Fool CAPS.

Whether you're keeping an eye on the industry stalwarts like Las Vegas Sands or McDonald's or are watching an up-and-comer like Buffalo Wild Wings, it pays to watch. We can help you keep tabs on your companies with My Watchlist, our free, personalized stock tracking service. Click here to start now.

Dan Dzombak 's musings and articles he finds interesting can be found on his Twitter account: @DanDzombak.

Chipotle is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Panera Bread and Starbucks are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Melco Crown is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, and Ctrip.com are Motley Fool Hidden Gems picks. McDonald's is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Motley Fool Options has recommended a write covered strangle position on Red Robin. The Fool owns shares of Biglari Holdings, Chipotle, International Game Technology, Red Robin, Starbucks, and Yum! Brands. 

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