"The bigger they are, the harder they fall." This old saying sums up the worst nightmare of every homeowner, every gold buyer, and every investor in today's market. Dare ye buy at the top?

Every day, MSN Money publishes a list of the market's top stocks -- the companies whose shares have just hit their highest intraday price of any time in the past 52 weeks. Every day, investors read this list and tremble -- some with greed (big mo', baby!), and others in pure, unmitigated, acrophobic terror (whatever you do, don't look down).

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors just like you are watching these same companies and voting with their gut on whether they'll keep rising or stumble and fall. Usually, the ratings wax optimistic as stocks hit new highs -- because everyone loves a winner. But what do you make of it when some of the smartest investors out there are panning a hot stock?

You could heed them. You could ignore them. You could take the stock tickers and construct anagrams from 'em. For my money, though, the best course of action is to use the "52-week highs" list as a starting point for further research. After all, stocks can go up for many reasons, and it's up to you to decide how worthy those reasons are. But thanks to Motley Fool CAPS, now you don't have to make the decision alone.

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest "52-week highs" list at MSN Money. What does our panel of more than 23,000 stock gurus (and counting) have to say about them?

One Year Ago Today

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

Tesoro (NYSE:TSO)




Dun & Bradstreet




Weyerhaeuser (NYSE:WY)




RTI International Metals




Hydril Company




U.S. Steel (NYSE:X)




Leap Wireless




*Five stars = highest possible CAPS rating; one star = lowest. Companies are selected from the "New 52-Week Highs" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Where's the love?
Surprisingly, for a set of stocks hitting their highest heights of the past 52 weeks, Fools aren't terribly enamoured of today's list. Not one rates better than average among our fellow investors, and wireless carrier Leap Wireless actually gets the lowest CAPS rating possible -- just a single star. Let's find out why:

  • WallStFinest does a fine job of summarizing the bear case, highlighting Leap's heavy debt load, slim profit margins, and "massive competition from other wireless providers."
  • chrismichael1 points out that despite all these flaws, Leap is priced at a high multiple to earnings (he says 100+, but according to Yahoo!, a recent earnings miss now has Leap losing money over the last 12 months, and so carrying an infinite trailing P/E.)
  • The Fool's own TMFKopp observes that in addition to the depressing GAAP news, Leap is also "overspending on capex." Indeed, over the past 12 months, Leap's gone free cash flow-negative to the tune of $300 million.

Are we being overly pessimistic? Does the mystical hand of the market actually know what it's doing as it bids Leap's shares ever higher? On Motley Fool CAPS, you've got as much right to state your case as any of us "professional" Fools. Tell us what you think -- be it about Leap, or any of the other stocks on today's list -- and may the best argument win.

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 17 out of more than 23,000 raters.