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By Richard McGill Murphy
This year’s Bloomberg Businessweek presents the top-performing U.S. stocks of the past five years, one of the most turbulent periods in our country’s economic history. Some of the companies on our list have thrived by creating new markets around unique products: Apple (No. 4) with the iPhone and now the iPad, medical innovators like Intuitive Surgical (No. 2) and Celgene (No. 13). Others powered through the recession by offering exceptional value propositions: Red Hat (No. 22) with its open-source business software, McDonald’s (No. 31) with its Value Meals, and of course Priceline—tops on our list--with its online marketplace for bargain-hunting travelers.