"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 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 high" 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 high" list at Nasdaq.com. What does our panel of more than 65,000 stock gurus (and counting) have to say about them?

One Year
Ago Today


CAPS Rating

Templeton Dragon Fund




Procter & Gamble




Foster Wheeler




Arcelor Mittal




RehabCare Group




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.
*Not a stock, Templeton Dragon Fund is an exchange-traded fund that invests in stocks in China and the Far East.

Everybody loves a winner
When stocks soar on the wings of success, bears become rare. So it comes as no surprise that every stock on today's list, save one, brings with it a perfect five-star CAPS rating. "Which of these things is not like the others?" It's RehabCare that wins the CAPS booby prize: a single, solitary star.

What sets RehabCare apart from its chart-topping peers? To find out, let's review ...

The bear case against RehabCare Group
And now let's stop, because at first glance, CAPS doesn't give us any bear case at all. For one thing, 13 of the 17 players who have reviewed this provider of rehabilitation program management services to hospitals and nursing homes, give it the thumbs-up. For another, the only "pitch" on record actually rates RehabCare an outperformer. But in doing so, valuetracker2007 also does us the favor of pointing out RehabCare's flaws: "The rehab business is at the tail end of the most brutal price war in history... pricing is increasing fast. Rehabcare's margins have eroded drastically as labor costs have skyrocketed ..."

Of course, valuetracker2007 goes on to conclude that RehabCare's "gorrilla market share" and ability to "keep productivity high" make this a long-term winner. But we're not looking for bull arguments in this column. We're here to take the other side of the trade. So let me build a bear case for this one -- something along the lines of what both of the two CAPS All-Stars who rated RehabCare a loser might have said, had they penned pitches for the stock:

•  Valuation. Trading for 38 times trailing earnings, and with analysts predicting just single-digit annual profits growth for the next five years, RehabCare doesn't look attractively priced.

•  Margins. Over the last 18 months, gross margins have trended steadily south, leaving RehabCare grossing less than half the industry average, and less than rivals like Healthsouth (NYSE:HLS) and Kindred Healthcare (NYSE:KND). RehabCare's trailing-12-month operating margins have generally tracked the gross.

•  Balance sheet. Roughly one dollar out of every three RehabCare makes in operating profit goes to pay interest on the firm's $109 million debt.

Time to chime in
See how easy it is to write a CAPS pitch? Why, to paraphrase the GEICO commercials, "It's so easy, a bear could do it." So if you see a stock on today's list that deserves a good panning, whether it's RehabCare or any of our other contenders, come on over to CAPS and give it a try. 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. 394 out of more than 65,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.