When a stock hits a fresh high, it can either signal that the stock is on its way to greatness or that it has run its course. Even with the risk of the latter, searching for these outperformers can reveal companies that are doing something right, much to their investors' delight.

Digging deeper
With that in mind, we'll use the aggregate intelligence of the 110,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to find stocks hitting 52-week highs today. The community's approval (as signified by four- and five-star ratings) could be a sign that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

 

Today’s High

Industry

CAPS Rating

Fools Saying Outperform

Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT)

$61.00

Retail

***

3,870 of 4,510

Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE:MMC)

$31.00

Insurance

****

246 of 269

Genentech (NYSE:DNA)

$96.68

Drugs

****

1,713 of 1,803

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Aug. 6, 2008.

Other Five-Star Retail Companies
CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) -- up 3.7% in the past year.
Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) -- stock price is 18.8% cheaper than a year ago.

Other Five-Star Insurance Companies
Markel (NYSE:MKL) -- stock price is 20.4% cheaper than a year ago.
Zenith National Insurance (NYSE:ZNT) -- stock price is 1.7% cheaper than a year ago.

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Fool analyst Dan Dzombak wishes he had bought these stocks last year. Unfortunately, he does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. Zenith National Insurance is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Wal-Mart, Marsh & McLennan, and Markel are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.