When the clock's ticking down and the game's on the line, which of your teammates do you trust to sink a winning shot? Sure, you could dish the rock to your resident superstar -- but what if he's playing ice-cold at the moment? So instead, you pass to the guy with the hot hand, the one who'll be deemed en fuego tomorrow on ESPN.

Momentum investors are looking for stocks in a similar state of sizzle. But momentum by itself will only get you so far. I prefer to find high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like kicking the ball out to your team's superstars when they do have a hot hand.

There's no doubt that now's a tough time to try and find winners out there, but to find the current league leaders, I ran a simple momentum screen on The Motley Fool's CAPS screener. Each of the stocks below has managed to more than double the S&P's 11% bull run over the past month and has been rated highly by CAPS players.


4-Week Change

12-Month Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Petrobras (NYSE:PBR)




Southern Copper (NYSE:PCU)




Chesapeake Energy (NYSE:CHK)




Nuance Communications (NASDAQ:NUAN)








Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ, and CAPS as of March 23.

At first glance, this sure looks like a high-quality group. But, as always, I highly advise taking a close look before you throw a bounce pass in the direction of any of these stocks. In fact, I'll even kick off your research with a look at Southern Copper.

Providing the pep
To say commodity investors have had a bumpy ride lately is like saying that Hurricane Katrina produced some inclement weather. Prices for oil, copper, and aluminum -- among others -- were deep-sixed as investors realized that commodities were not going to sidestep the global recession. The result? Southern Copper, Vale (NYSE:RIO), and ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), among many others, got Sweeney Todd-style haircuts.

Despite the crash, however, there has continued to be significant interest in commodities and commodity-tied companies. Some of that interest is based on the expectation that growing demand from developing markets will push up prices in the longer term; some stems from the belief that prices were overcorrected after the fall, and some is due to a more recent concern over inflation. This demand -- and the ascending market and an uptick in optimism -- sent stocks like Southern Copper, Petrobras, and Chesapeake soaring.

Looking ahead
Southern Copper has been a very consistent CAPS favorite over the past two years and has maintained a perfect five-star rating over that period. Today, the stock has 4,099 outperform ratings against just 136 underperforms. CAPS members have cited the bullish points noted above, as well as Southern Copper's strong balance sheet, copper extraction efficiency, and solid management.

CAPS member ametts1 joined the Southern Copper bulls in late February, pitching:

Copper is trading at multi-year lows, which can't last forever due to the increasing needs for this metal to build infrastructure. China and India certainly aren't getting any smaller. I expect copper to rise in price as the housing crisis wanes, and investors start to reinvest in oversold commodities. [Southern Copper] seems to have the lowest extraction costs of the "pure-play" copper mining companies (at least the ones that are publicly-traded -- Codelco, one of the largest copper mining companies, is owned by the government of Chile).

Fielding your team
So, do you think any (or all!) of these companies deserve a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts or check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say about it or any of the other stocks above by stopping by CAPS. And while you're there, you can also take a peek at few more of the 5,300-plus other stocks that are rated on CAPS.

I think I heard a "booyah" somewhere out there -- thanks, Stuart Scott!

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