The Best Stocks Right Now

According to market theory, if the market is nearing the end of an expansionary cycle (as some analysts suggest we're in now), cyclicals, commodities, and commodity-linked equities are some of the last places you should invest. Instead, the logic goes, investors should load up on "defensive" stocks like utilities, tobacco, and food -- Exelon (NYSE: EXC  ) , UST (NYSE: UST  ) , and Kroger (NYSE: KR  ) , for example.

But based on the top-rated stocks according to more than 70,000 investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, this market may not be done yet. In fact, seven of this month's top-rated stocks on CAPS are metals, oil, or industrial companies.

Record oil prices and growing global demand for steel are undoubtedly fueling bullish sentiment for these stocks. This month's top stock, Gerdau, produces steel and iron products for emerging South American economies as well as Spain, the U.S., and Canada. The stock is up more than 75% year to date.

Here's the rest of this month's list.

Company

Market Capitalization*

Gerdau

$18,920

TGC Industries

$186

China Fire & Security

$332

Perini (NYSE:PCR)

$1,706

Metalico (AMEX:MEA)

$379

CGG Veritas

$1,783

SM&A

$123

America Movil (NYSE:AMX)

$115,915

iShares Singapore Index Fund (NYSE:EWS)

$2,141**

Illinois Tool Works

$32,355

*In millions, as of Oct. 16. Data provided by Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Yahoo! Finance.
**Net assets.

Hey, what's that ETF doing in there?
At first, I was a little shocked to see that CAPS investors had rated an ETF as one of the 10 best picks to beat the market. If history provides any hint of what's to come, though, I can't say I blame them for getting behind the iShares Singapore Index Fund. Since 2002, the ETF has returned 31% on average each year, turning a $1,000 investment into $3,860 today.

This ETF's top holdings include Singapore Telecommunications and United Overseas Bank, and more than 75% of the fund is invested in financial and industrial stocks. Be sure to consider the diversification impact if you consider investing.

According to The Economist, Singapore grew GDP at a scorching 9.4% in the third quarter, and the magazine expects it to finish the year with 7% overall growth, which is higher than other emerging markets like Mexico, Chile, and Taiwan. Unfortunately, only two Singapore-based companies trade on major U.S. exchanges, so exposure to this market for U.S. investors is largely limited to ETFs or mutual funds like this one, or to the pink sheets.

You can learn what other CAPS investors are saying about the iShares MSCI Singapore ETF by clicking here. If you'd like to voice your opinion about this ETF, or any other stock for that matter, join the 65,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community now, and make your voice heard. CAPS is 100% free -- just click here to get started.  


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