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

Your first thought might be the resident superstar, your 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

Percent Below 52-Week High

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Cemex (NYSE:CX)




General Cable Corp. (NYSE:BGC)




Penn National Gaming (NASDAQ:PENN)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance, CapitalIQ, and CAPS as of June 4.

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.

Cemex run
Sticks and stones may break your bones, but if you're Cemex, stones can also make you a heck of a lot of money. This Mexico-based Stock Advisor pick is one of the world's leading players in ready-mix concrete and aggregate and is also a major player in the trading of cement and clinker (an ingredient for making many types of cement). The company is currently hoping to get much larger with its outstanding offer for Australia's building products giant, Rinker (NYSE:RIN).

CAPS All-Star kashunut shared some thoughts on why Cemex is a promising pick:

Cement will always be needed. This company with its operations/HQ based in Mexico produces/ships cement cheaper than any other place in the world right now. I do not see labor costs in Mexico rising all that quickly (compared to say Brazil or India or other developing nations that are considered hot on a percentage basis) thus providing the company with sustainable competitive edge! Plus, [Cemex has an] amazing management team. Buy it.

Cable guy
If you didn't glean it from the company's name, General Cable sells, well, cables. The company's cables are used for a vast array of applications, including electric transmission, petrochemical applications, and telecom and data networks. While more than half of the company's sales come from North America, it has a very significant exposure to international markets. Continued economic growth overseas should provide ample need for the types of infrastructure products General Cable is selling.

On CAPS, General Cable has some solid support from a couple of highly rated Wall Street players, as well as Jim Cramer. CAPS player TheArch thinks it's a good play because it's "a play on infrastructure upgrades by utilities, cable, and phone companies. [It] also [has] exposure to military, space, and overseas markets."

A stock to bet on
It might be pretty easy to overlook a relatively small gaming stock like Penn National. After all, the company has a $4.6 billion market cap, which is pretty small when stacked against comparables like Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) or MGM (NYSE:MGM). The company also doesn't own or operate a single establishment in the gaming Mecca of Nevada -- instead, its properties are located in areas like Mississippi, Illinois, and West Virginia.

CAPS players and Wall Streeters alike, though, suggest that it'd be a good idea to take a closer look at this up-and-comer. CAPS player megawillmae recently commented: "new casinos opening this year should lead to revenue and hopefully growth in bottom line. [Penn National is at] the top of its yearly range but might be good to buy on a small dip."

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. The Fool's disclosure policy has a 55'' vertical jump and can dunk from half court. Or so I hear.