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3 Surprising Stocks Trading Higher in 2016

By Rick Munarriz - Feb 19, 2016 at 8:06AM

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Michael Kors, Fossil, and Chipotle Mexican Grill are bucking conventional wisdom by moving higher this year.

It's been a rough start to the year for investors. The S&P 500 is trading 6% lower so far in 2016, and that's with the benefit of the market rallying earlier this week. 

Obviously there are some stocks faring substantially better. Let's go over a few stocks that are trading higher this year. Some of the names will surprise you.

Michael Kors (CPRI 0.54%) -- Up 31%
Fashion can be fickle when it comes to luxury handbag makers, and once a brand falls out of favor, it's hard to get shoppers excited again. That seemed to be the fate of Michael Kors last year, when its stock surrendered nearly half of its value.

Decelerating growth was the culprit, but now we're seeing that affluent purse buyers aren't ditching Kors' handiwork. Year-over-year sales growth has slowed to the single digits for three consecutive quarters, but at least that's still growth. The stock's drop last year was overdone given its reasonable fundamentals. It's just making up ground early in 2016. 

Fossil (FOSL -1.35%) -- Up 22%
There probably weren't too many people thinking that designer watches would be a hot investing niche this year. How many people still wear watches in an era of smartphones and, more importantly, smartwatches? 

Fossil took off earlier this week after posting better-than-expected quarterly results. The bearish thesis may be correct -- currency-adjusted revenue did slip 2% when pitted against the prior year's showing -- but it's not fading from sight as quickly as some boo birds may have been expecting. Surpassing Wall Street targets can help even a stock where fundamentals appear to be going the wrong way, and Fossil managed to beat analyst profit forecasts in each and every quarter through 2015. 

Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG -0.04%) -- Up 7%
As bad as things may seem at the burrito baron, the stock has been inching higher since closing its restaurants for lunch one day earlier this month to get its staff up to speed on new food safety procedures.

The closures may have been criticized by naysayers, but it's starting to seem as if investors are flocking back to Chipotle. Now we'll have to see if hungry customers feel the same way. Chipotle still has a long way to go before the former market darling is truly back. Comparable-restaurant sales have posted year-over-year declines of 30% in December and 36% in January. However, with most of gastrointestinal cases fading from memory -- there hasn't been a case since last year -- it wouldn't  be a surprise to see traffic pick back up sooner rather than later.

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Stocks Mentioned

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. Stock Quote
Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.
$1,306.80 (-0.04%) $0.46
Capri Holdings Limited Stock Quote
Capri Holdings Limited
$41.23 (0.54%) $0.22
Fossil Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Fossil Group, Inc.
$5.10 (-1.35%) $0.07

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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