It's common to hear that the market is frothy. Look no further for confirmation than today's big gainers, which include a handful poised to benefit from a transportation safety bill approved by both houses of Congress. There is one potential roadblock, though. President Bush has threatened a veto.

That didn't prevent Trans-Industries (NASDAQ:TRNI) from more than doubling this morning on news that the company has worked itself out of a financial hole with a $1.5 million placement of preferred stock and warrants. Even with the financing and the new transportation bill, shareholders own a company with four quarters of declining sales and net income losses in every quarter.

Struggling to keep pace, transportation and surveillance company Digital Recorders (NASDAQ:TBUS) is up 62% today to $13.95, having traded for less than $5 just last Monday. At least this one is cash flow positive, but the company still manages relatively meager 3.8% operating margins.

Off the roadway, security company International Electronics (NASDAQ:IEIB) sold for less than $4 last Monday and is up 58% today alone to $8.25. Almost debt-free, the company nonetheless posted operating losses in three of its last four quarters. The story is similar at security firm ICTS International (NASDAQ:ICTS), which soared more than 100% this morning to $10.43 a share.

True, it is an up market -- and, yes, an up market produces frothy gains. But when you have powerhouse earners like Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) down 20% and Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) down 16% over the last 52 weeks, it is clear that not the entire market is frothy.

Big moves are exciting, but beware. Chasing winners in a flight from quality can be dangerous. For investors willing to do their homework, there is still value in the market -- it's just that with all the noise, it's getting harder and harder to focus.

For those looking for market-beating returns without uncommon risk, there's Motley Fool Hidden Gems -- an oasis in frothy times.

Fool contributor W.D. Crotty does not own stock in any of the companies mentioned but is awe-struck by the gains today.