"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, Nasdaq.com 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 high" list as merely 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, 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 high" list at Nasdaq.com. What does our panel of more than 30,000 stock gurus (and counting) have to say about them?

One Year Ago Today

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

Corning (NYSE:GLW)




Spherion (NYSE:SFN)












Boston Beer (NYSE:SAM)




Suncor (NYSE:SU)




Pier 1 Imports (NYSE:PIR)




Five stars = highest possible CAPS rating; one star = lowest. Companies are selected from the "NASDAQ 52 Week High" list published on Nasdaq.com on the Saturday following close of trading last week. One year ago and current pricing provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Everybody loves a winner
When stocks soar on the wings of success, bears become rare. So it's no surprise that investors love most of the stocks on today's list, with one exception -- Kirstie Alley's fave, Pier 1 Imports. Nearly two out of three investors polled find the stock overpriced. More importantly, among our best players -- the CAPS All-Stars -- 83% rate the stock an underperformer. Why? Let's find out.

The bear case on Pier 1
All-Star investors have some pretty harsh words for Pier 1:

jmacn22 observes:

This one has been an underperformer for as long as I can remember, so one might think that the company has gone as low as it's going to go. While it is moving away from its traditional look of wicker and rattan for a more modern and urban feel, so far the results have still been unimpressive. Until proven otherwise, I am banking on this traditional loser to continue its losing ways.

The Fool's own TMFSarah agrees, "The downhill slide just looks unstoppable, image overhaul or not."

Perhaps the most poetic criticism comes from All-Star investor TDRH. After reciting a series of pessimistic indicators -- including rising inflation, the continued high cost of energy, and runaway health care expense -- that are expected to pressure retailers in general, TDRH dismisses Pier 1 as "the weak gazelle in a bloated retail market."

Time to chime in
But enough about our opinions -- what do you think? Has this "weak gazelle" caught its second wind, and does it have room to run? Will it perhaps find a watering hole, safe in the arms of private equity, rewarding current shareholders with a buyout premium?

Whether you're feeling ursine or bovine on this African herbivore of a retailer, we're anxious to hear your thoughts. Click on over to CAPS now and speak your mind.

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 No. 820 out of more than 30,000 raters.