LONDON -- The FTSE 100 is crashing through its 52-week highs daily at the moment, having set yet another record today of 6,593 points before dropping back a little -- it's currently on 6,581, just 2.5 points down on the day. If the FTSE remains around that level for the rest of the day, that will be the fourth close in a row above the 6,500 level.
Which companies are helping the index attain these new heights? Here are three that are breaking new ground of their own:
Shares in electricity provider SSE (LSE:SSE) climbed to a new 52-week high of 1,573 pence just after midday today, before settling back to 1,570 by mid-afternoon. That takes the price up around 18% over the past 12 months, which is a pretty good gain for shares that are usually bought for income.
Over the past four years, SSE has rewarded shareholders with annual dividend yields of around 6%, and even though the price has risen, the year to March 2013 should still bring in a yield of about 5.5%, with forecasts for steady rises over the following two years. Full-year results are due on 22 May.
Auto and aero parts maker GKN (LSE:GKN) has also had a great year, with its shares up more than 50% over the past 12 months. Today the price reached 291 pence, beating March's 52-week closing high of 285 pence. Last month's update was positive, after the acquisition of Volvo Aero helped boost first-quarter sales by 8.6% to £1.9 billion, and it helped support a mini-surge in the share price.
Full-year forecasts indicate only a modest gain in earnings of around 2%, but that still only puts the shares on an undemanding forward P/E of 11. And the City is forecasting 13% growth for 2014, which would drop that to 9.5.
Invensys (LSE: ISYS) shares have just about doubled in price over the past 12 months, setting a new record today of 400 pence, and they're just half a penny down from that as I write. The engineering software and services firm last updated us in January, telling us that it expects performance for the year to improve.
City analysts currently expect that performance to amount to a 25% rise in EPS, although that would put the shares on a P/E of around 23 -- which would be fine providing earnings carry on growing at a nice rate. Full-year results should be with us next Thursday, 16 May.
Finally, if you're looking for high-performing top-drawer shares that should take you all the way to a comfortable retirement, I recommend the Fool's special new report detailing five blue-chip shares. They'll be familiar names to many, and they've already provided investors with decades of profits.
But the report will only be available for a limited period, so click here to get your hands on these great ideas -- they could set you on the road to long-term riches.