"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 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 just 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 25,000 stock gurus (and counting) have to say about them?

One Year Ago Today

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating (out of five)

Alcon (NYSE:ACL)




Zimmer Holdings (NYSE:ZMH)








L-3 Communications (NYSE:LLL)




National Western Life Insurance (NASDAQ:NWLIA)




Questar Corporation (NYSE:STR)




WellCare Health Plans (NYSE:WCG)




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.

Everybody loves a winner
The old saying holds true again today, as we find not a single one of our list of seven companies, newly arrived on the 52-week high list, rated an underperformer on CAPS. To the contrary, our community of lay and professional investors thinks that the majority of these stocks -- already at their highs for the year -- are well-positioned to keep on outperforming the S&P 500.

Build-a-bear, anyone?
With optimism prevailing, and hardly a criticism to be found in the CAPS pitches for any of these stocks, I'm hesitant to suggest that one of them looks "ready for the fall" this week. But that doesn't mean you should remain silent. Do you know something that the rest of the investing universe does not? Can you build a bear case for one or more of the companies on this week's list?

If you can, then don't play the wallflower! Come on over to CAPS to tell us why you're right, and everyone else -- on Wall Street as well as Main -- is wrong. Do even a passable job of it, and you're pretty much guaranteed to be featured in the stock's "Top Bear Pitch" box.

Motley Fool CAPS: It's fun, it's free, and it just might make you famous.

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 67th out of more than 25,000 raters. V.F. is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Fool has a disclosure policy.