"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 preceding 52 weeks. Every day, investors read this list and tremble -- some with greed (big mo', baby!), and others in pure, acrophobic terror (whatever you do, don't look down).

Over at Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors just like you are watching these 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 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 Nasdaq 52 Week High list. What does our panel of more than 72,000 (and counting) stock gurus say about them?

One Year Ago Today

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating

Goldcorp (NYSE:GG)




Barrick Gold  (NYSE:ABX)




Newmont Mining  (NYSE:NEM)




Western Digital  (NYSE:WDC)




Apollo Group  (NASDAQ:APOL)




Seagate Technology  (NYSE:STX)




Millennium Pharmaceuticals




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 comes as no surprise that nearly every stock on today's list earns an above-average rating from investors. What is surprising is the one stock that is panned: Millennium Pharma, which just reported its third-quarter earnings with the headline, "VELCADE sales showed considerable strength this quarter." So much strength, in fact, that management raised its earnings guidance for the second time this year.

That's hardly the kind of news you'd ordinarily expect from a mere two-star stock. And indeed, when you look closer, Millennium isn't quite as hated as its two-star rating might lead you to think. In fact, nearly three out of four investors who rated the company on CAPS expect it to outperform the market -- as do the folks at Motley Fool Rule Breakers, where we've recommended Millennium for the past two years, a recommendation that is beating the market.

The bear case against Millennium Pharmaceuticals
Only two investors who voted against the stock attached pitches to explain their pessimism. One of these pitches, nearly 10 months out of date, argues that: "The future prospects of the company primarily [hinge on] its key driver Velcade, and with stiff competition and shrinking market opportunity for this drug, the immediate future for the company is going to be full of challenges." That made sense when the pitch was penned, as Millennium had just come off a quarter in which Velcade saw a rise of just 4% in net sales. But it makes less sense today, after Velcade sales leapt 32% year over year.

The other pitch on this one observes that "bigger, more successful companies have their pipelines full. Not so with this company. However ... I may change my mind after earnings are announced in November." Judging from the 9% jump in Millennium's stock price on Friday, a lot of investors have already changed their minds.

No biotech investor I, I won't embarrass myself by trying to argue that the team at Motley Fool Rule Breakers was wrong to recommend Millennium, or that the two pessimists mentioned above are right. But I will point out the firm remains solidly unprofitable as of today. Millennium has lost $26.2 million this year, and management predicts those losses could swell to $35 million by year's end.

Time to chime in
On the other hand, as recently as January, Millennium warned investors to be prepared to see losses climb to $90 million this year. Viewed against the backdrop of those fears, a $35 million loss doesn't sound so bad to me. 

Of course, the aim of this column isn't to tell you just what I think about Millennium Pharma -- or even what the other CAPS players are saying. We also want to hear your thoughts on this, or any other company on today's list. If you've got an opinion, we've got a place to voice it.

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. 4,735 out of more than 38,000 rated players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.