When the clock's ticking down and the game's on the line, which of your teammates do you trust to sink a winning shot? Sure, you could dish the rock to your resident superstar, but what if he's playing ice-cold at the moment? So instead, you pass to the guy with the hot hand, the one who'll be deemed en fuego tomorrow on ESPN.

Momentum investors are looking for stocks in a similar state of sizzle, but momentum by itself will only get you so far. I prefer to find high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like kicking the ball out to your team's superstars when they have a hot hand.

To find these league-leading winners, I cross-referenced a simple momentum screen with data from The Motley Fool's CAPS investing community. Each of the companies below is up 30% or more over the past year, now trades 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) 

Chindex (Nasdaq: CHDX)




Agrium (NYSE: AGU)




Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY)




Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL)




Halliburton (NYSE: HAL)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's), and CAPS as of April 14.

At first glance, this sure looks like a high-quality group. But as always, I highly advise taking a close look before you throw a bounce pass in the direction of any of these stocks.

Catch the wave with Hal
For many people, the name Halliburton is still synonymous with Dick Cheney and questionable government contracts in Iraq. In fact, the company that was involved with the contracts in Iraq was a former Halliburton subsidiary, KBR (NYSE: KBR). In order to simplify its business and get that political monkey off its back, though, Halliburton spun off KBR in late 2006.

Today, the revitalized Halliburton gets to focus on its primary business of helping customers find, develop, and produce oil and gas. And with oil breaching $112 per barrel and natural gas also showing considerable strength, there's a lot of potential work out there for Halliburton.

Over the past month, investors and analysts have been noticing the potential upside for Halliburton's stock. Even as the case for the company's business continues to build, its valuation is still reasonable -- at 12 times trailing earnings per share -- when compared to competitors like Schlumberger (NYSE: SLB), which is trading at trailing multiple of over 20.

While Goldman Sachs gave Halliburton the nod from Wall Street, members of the CAPS community have been steadily getting more bullish on the stock, and it recently jumped from a darn good four-star rating to an excellent five stars.

CAPS All-Star mitch587 is one of the CAPS players who gave Halliburton a thumbs up over the past month and thinks that natural gas will give the company and the stock a nice boost:

The downward spiral of Natural Gas in storage (85 billion cubic feet last week) will give a significant increase in drilling activity for natural gas in '08. [Halliburton] is leveraged for significant higher profits on gas wells vs. oil wells and holds the greatest market share in the hydraulic fracturing market. High oil prices, High natural gas prices and falling supply bodes well for HAL during the next 18 months.

So, do you think Halliburton deserves a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts on it or check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say about it, or any of the other stocks above, by stopping by CAPS. And while you're there, you can also take a peek at few more of the 5,500-plus other stocks that are rated on CAPS.

I think I heard a boo-yah 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 thought of 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-inch vertical jump and can dunk from half-court. Or so I hear.