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Whether you're looking at the shopping mall or the stock market, you've never seen so many great bargains. But while holiday shopping season comes every year, you can't count on seeing this buying opportunity for great companies every year.
To help you make your shopping list, we looked at 10 companies our Foolish writers believe stand out from the rest. But to decide which one was the best, we left the call to you -- by asking our Motley Fool CAPS community to vote for their favorite stock. Let's look at the winners.
Running neck and neck
In a close race, honorable mention goes to three stocks that just missed the top three. Cemex (NYSE: CX ) , Intuitive Surgical (Nasdaq: ISRG ) , and Southern Copper (NYSE: PCU ) have all gotten hurt by the slowing economy.
When the recession ends and construction picks up, prospects for both cement and copper will undoubtedly improve. And while Intuitive Surgical proved not to be quite as recession-proof as some had hoped, it also stands to see big gains once medical facilities start ramping up their budgets once again.
A crude awakening
Third place goes to Petrobras (NYSE: PBR ) . As the price of oil has fallen further than a deepwater drill-bit, most oil stocks have followed suit. But with Petrobras' new oil discoveries off Brazil's coast, CAPS members think no one's in a better long-term position to capitalize once energy prices start heading higher again.
An Apple a day keeps the losses away
Your second-place choice was Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) . The always-popular iPod maker has hit the skids recently as shareholders worry about whether consumers can keep shelling out for Apple's hot products. But CAPS members agree that as long as the pipeline stays full of great new ideas, fans will keep buying them -- and send the stock higher as well.
Bringing good things to life
And your top pick for the best bargain stock for Black Friday was... General Electric (NYSE: GE ) . Sure, GE's financing arm has seen better days. But with support from Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE: BRK-B ) Warren Buffett, CAPS members see a vital vote of confidence -- and betting against the Oracle of Omaha hasn't turned out well for most investors over the long haul.
Want to learn more about which stocks are true bargains -- or value traps you should avoid? Try out Motley Fool CAPS for yourself. Becoming a member is free, and you'll be surprised at how much you'll learn about becoming a better investor.