The clock's ticking down, your team's down one, you're being double-teamed, and you wouldn't have enough time to get a good shot off even if you were allowed to drop-kick both defenders. So who do you dish the rock to?

Your first thought might be the resident superstar -- the Kobe Bryant or Tracy McGrady. But what if Kobe, as good as Kobe is, is playing colder than an Alaskan snowdrift? That's right, you dish to the guy with the hot hand, the guy who will be deemed en fuego tomorrow on ESPN.

Momentum investors are looking for stocks in a similar state of sizzle when they make investments. They want to give the nod to the stocks that are hot to the touch.

What sounds more interesting to me than simply looking for stocks that have momentum, though, is finding high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. Imagine being able to kick the ball out to Michael Jordan or Larry Bird when they do have a hot hand.

To accomplish this, I cross-referenced a pretty simple momentum screen with data from The Motley Fool's new investing community, CAPS. The result is a few all-star stocks that currently have a fiery shooting hand. Each of the companies below is up 30% or more over the past year, is within 5% of its 52-week high, and has been rated highly by CAPS players.


12-Month Change

% Below
52-Week High

CAPS Rating

Chipotle Mexican




America Movil




Marathon Oil




CAPS rating out of five. Sources: Yahoo! Finance, CapitalIQ, and CAPS as of May 29.

At first glance, this sure looks like a high-quality trio. But, as always, I highly advise taking a close look before you throw a bounce pass in the direction of any of these stocks.

Hot, hot, hot
Earlier this month, I did pitched battle with the very Foolish Ryan Fuhrmann on the merits (or lack thereof) of the very hot Rule Breaker Chipotle. Though I gave it all I had, I lost miserably. Apparently, despite the stock's high price, nearly everyone loves it. And to tell you the truth, I can't really blame them -- though I'm not enamored with the stock, it looks like a darn fine company.

CAPS player 66Champs believes the stock is a classic "Lynchian" buy-what-you-know stock and shares:

[Chipotle] carries a high multiple (currently P/E around 50) but continually smashes earnings estimates. In thirteen years, they've grown from 1 store to 500+. Adding right about a hundred stores a year right now. ... It's a lot like Starbucks in the sense that the business is built around a distinctive, superior product, but the experience is as much about the buzz and vibe of the place as it is the food.

Making connections
For many, the wireless service providers in the U.S. may not hold all that much interest. After all, the U.S. market is characterized by massive -- and some might argue bloated -- companies like Sprint (NYSE:S) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) doing pitched battle to win subscribers away from each other. The Latin American market, on the other hand, which includes markets like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, is far less penetrated and likely offers operators much more growth potential. Maybe that's why CAPS players like American Movil, the largest wireless service provider in Latin America, so much.

CAPS All-Star hirshey offers:

With increased economic growth throughout Central and South America, this should be a great 5-year stock. Many countries are beginning to rapidly develop which will increase mobile communication use for both businesses and consumers. The company is severely undervalued and has solid financials.

A stock for the long run?
TheBoodist, who logged the most recent comment on Marathon Oil, says quite simply that it's "perhaps the best stock in the oil refining sector -- a no-brainer."

As long as oil prices stay high, it's likely hard work for a company in the industry to make itself seem unattractive. With crude prices high and refining margins likewise looking good, Marathon, which is involved in both exploration and refining, is sitting pretty. Marathon's trek upward has been marked by constant steady progress, but has been helped recently by a few analyst upgrades and the announcement that the company will be splitting the stock 2-for-1.

And that's the team for this week. You can check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say about these stocks by stopping by CAPS, and while you're there, you can also take a peek at few more of the 4,500 other rated stocks.

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

More CAPS Foolishness:

When it comes to basketball, Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer might be the guy Ron Shelton was thinking of when he came up with the title White Men Can't Jump. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. Chipotle is both a Motley Fool Rule Breakers and a Hidden Gems pick. Starbucks is a Stock Advisor choice. The Fool's disclosure policy has a 55'' vertical jump and can dunk from half-court. Or so we hear.