"Actions speak louder than words."

It's an old saying, with more than a grain of truth to it, I'll warrant. So why is it that when the Wall Street firms merely "initiate coverage" or "upgrade" their ratings on a company, they get all the news coverage? After all, those are only words, when what really matters is how the big boys act. Luckily for Wall Street watchers, finding out which professionals put their money where their corporate mouthpieces are has become relatively easy in this Internet age of ours. All we have to do is read MSN Money's list of which companies the Street is most actively buying.

But once we've done that, what next? After all, "Monkey see, monkey do" may not make for the soundest of investment strategies. That's where Motley Fool CAPS can help. The Fool's newest venture into the realm of collective intelligence collects ratings from more than 20,000 lay and professional analysts, then overweights the most successful raters' opinions to come up with a "CAPS rating" from one to five stars (five being the best). If Wall Street's buying and the smartest investors in Fooldom say they're right to do so, then that should get your attention.

And so, let's meet today's list of contenders:

30-Day Price Increase

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

Stratex Networks

356%

N/A

***

Exide Technologies (NASDAQ:XIDE)

58%

$7.15

**

City Telecom
(NASDAQ:CTEL)

67%

$3.47

*

Research Frontiers (NASDAQ:REFR)

60%

$8.33

*

Nymox Pharmaceutical (NASDAQ:NYMX)

54%

$5.34

*

Silicon Graphics
(NASDAQ:SGIC)

46%

$28.49

Not rated

UQM Technologies (AMEX:UQM)

46%

$4.00

Not rated



Companies are selected from the "Institutional Ownership Up Last Month" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. Price increase and current pricing also provided by MSN Money on the same date. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Chickens and eggs
Another well-worn saw asks us: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? As you've noticed by now, one characteristic that each of these stocks has in common is that they've experienced dramatic price increases over the last 30 days. But are the Wall Streeters buying because the stocks have gone up -- playing the momentum game -- or is their heavy buying causing the prices to spike? It could even be a combination of the two, a vicious circle of some buyers pushing the price up, and others hopping aboard the bandwagon and enjoying the ride.

... and bird-brained brokers
Whatever's causing these stocks to go up, CAPS players aren't buying it. In fact, viewing Wall Street's wish list this week, the near-unanimous consensus of our lay and professional raters seems to be: "What were you thinking?!"

Only one stock on the list got so much as a half-hearted endorsement on CAPS, a lukewarm three-star rating. That stock: Stratex Networks. And in case you're wondering, the reason it doesn't have a ticker symbol attached is the same reason it's increased in value so much over the last 30 days -- it just got bought out by IT powerhouse Harris Corp (NYSE:HRS). So without further ado, let's take a quick look at what CAPS players are saying about Stratex's new owner:

  • CAPS all-star jnifer4 introduces us to the company: "Harris is a company that has been taking advantage of the current spending for Military defense. From what I have seen so far, Harris is working hard to break into new areas and they have even successfully been able to win contracts away [from] competitors in areas where they were the underdog."

  • Although generally giving the company the thumbs up, gurushankara takes a more cautious tone, first enthusing that Harris will benefit from the impending: "boom time for Digital TV," then cautioning that Harris' "analog transmitter business in the US is fading and they need to wake up to the new reality and make some strategy changes. Short-term they can get away with selling to emerging markets, though."

You've hear what our lay analysts have to say. Now it's your turn to tell us what you think on Motley Fool CAPS. You see, on CAPS, it doesn't matter if your name has a "TMF" in front of it or a "CFA" after it. Unlike Wall Street, we welcome all comments on CAPS, where the best arguments -- and the best records -- carry the day.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked 32 out of well over 21,000 raters.