One would think that in times of market uncertainty, investors would flock to large-cap stocks like Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), which are traditionally less volatile than their small-cap brethren. But according to more than 65,000 investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, small caps are still worth your investing dollars.

In fact, of this month's top-rated stocks on CAPS, only one company, Manulife Financial (NYSE:MFC), boasts a market cap of more than $5 billion.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the positive sentiment around small companies is the anticipation of a Fed interest rate cut this week, which, if it actually happens, may lower the cost of borrowing and fuel growth for tinier companies.

Furthermore, with oil trading around $80 a barrel, petite oil and gas services companies are attracting investor attention. This month's top stock, for instance, TGC Industries (AMEX:TGE), conducts seismic surveys of oil and natural gas wells, which helps oil conglomerates understand their wells and maximize extraction value.

Here's the rest of this month's list.


Market Capitalization*

TGC Industries


Rofin-Sinar Technologies (RSTI)






CGG Veritas (CGV)


AAR Corp (AIR)


Manulife Financial (MFC)


Atwood Oceanics (NYSE:ATW)


ICF International (NASDAQ:ICFI)




*In millions. Data provided by Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Yahoo! Finance.

It's lonely at the top
As was previously mentioned, Manulife Financial, a Toronto-based insurer, is the lone large cap on this month's top-10 list -- and not without good reason.

Sure, Manulife's major growth spurt may be behind it (the stock is up more than 280% since September 2002), but that doesn't mean the company has run out of long-term growth potential. On the contrary, Manulife has extended its business into China and other Asian markets. And the venture over the Pacific seems to be paying off. Back in August, the company reported that Asia Territories Life Insurance sales were up 42% year over year.

Bullish sentiment for Manulife is strong over on Motley Fool CAPS. Of the 185 CAPS players who have rated Manulife, 183 of them think the stock will outperform the S&P going forward. CAPS investors cite Manulife's Asian operations and growing dividend as major reasons why the stock will outperform.

You can learn what other CAPS investors are saying about Manulife by clicking here. If you'd like to voice your opinion about Manulife, or any other company for that matter, join the 65,000-strong Motley Fool CAPS community now, and make your voice heard. CAPS is 100% free -- just click here to get started.

Fool contributor Todd Wenning wishes the U.S. Air Force a happy 60th birthday on Sept. 18. He owns shares of Procter & Gamble. ONEOK is an Income Investor recommendation. Rofin-Sinar is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Coca-Cola is an Inside Value choice. Atwood Oceanics is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool's disclosure policy is off into the wild blue yonder.