Hot Stocks You're Buying Now

Welcome back to another Foolish review of the hottest stocks, as ranked by Motley Fool CAPS. We're looking at the three best-performing industries over the past 30 days and your favorite long and short candidates in each.

Dry bulk shippers were last week's kings of the sea. Choppy weather has them seeking safe port in second place this week, with a 34.4% average return over the past 30 days.

Who tops our list of hotheads today? Platinum producers. All that bling -- some of it surely present at last night's Academy Awards -- has led this group to a 51.1% return since late January.

Coal miners such as Rio Tinto (NYSE: RTP  ) and Arch Coal (NYSE: ACI  ) rank third, up 33.8% as a group over the past month.

According to you, our Foolish readers, the best stocks in these industries to own now -- i.e., those with four or five of the maximum five stars in CAPS -- are:

Company

CAPS Stars

No. of CAPS Ratings

Percent

Bulls

30-Day Price Change

Patriot Coal (NYSE:PCX)

*****

69

98.6%

56.9%

Teck Cominco (NYSE:TCK)

*****

470

98.5%

22.5%

Anglo American (NASDAQ:AAUK)

*****

588

98.0%

22.9%

BHP Billiton (NYSE:BHP)

*****

1,681

97.9%

21.7%

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance.

And your favorite short candidates -- i.e., those rated with one or two stars in CAPS -- are:

Company

CAPS Stars

No. of CAPS Ratings

Percent

Bears

30-Day Price Change

DryShips

**

1,675

28.3%

58.3%

National Coal (NASDAQ:NCOC)

**

30

16.7%

20.9%

Sources: Motley Fool CAPS, Yahoo! Finance.

My favorite hottie this week is BHP Billiton. With or without a deal for Rio Tinto, BHP is one of the world's most well-diversified commodity concerns -- a position even the most speculative growth investor can appreciate.

Witness the enthusiasm our Chief Rule Breaker, David Gardner, had for the stock in November. I'll be fair and point out that David's perspective was heavily borrowed from a fellow CAPS All-Star dubbed AeroFool. But, as a member of the Rule Breakers team that David leads, I can tell you that David isn't easily swayed. That he's willing to back BHP on the advice of another, to me, speaks volumes.

Here, in part, is what AeroFool had to say:

This next little while should perhaps see the last great buying opportunity for commodity producers. I expect short term that all will be in downdraft except in gold (and silver), which I expect to continue to four digits (gold). After perhaps a small shakeout due to the yen carry trade unwinding, there will be a realization that the commodity producers are where the cash flow is. Don't get me wrong I think there will be winners in tech etc ... but few and far between and just like in the past one needs to be where the odds are in favor -- where the bull market is -- bonds in the 80s, stocks in the 90s, housing in the 00s and now commodities and commodity equities (producers) for the foreseeable future -- minimum 5-10 years more.

I'll add that, even though commodities can be a cyclical, volatile market, BHP management has produced double-digit returns on assets and capital in every fiscal year since 2004 and appears on track for another. I'm frequently willing to bet on managers who excel at capital allocation.

But that's me. What about you? Would you buy BHP Billiton at today's prices? Let us know what you think by signing up for CAPS today. It's 100% free to participate.

Cap off your day with related CAPS Foolishness:


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