When bears close short positions en masse it usually means one of two things -- the stock has fallen enough to satisfy their hunger for profits or the stock has unexpectedly grown legs and run higher, forcing bears to cover their position quickly lest they lose even more.

Using Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's 115,000-plus-member investing community, we can see which stocks have lost the greatest percentage of "underperform" calls made by CAPS All-Star players over the past month. The All-Stars aren't necessarily putting real money behind their calls, but they did put their CAPS score and their reputations on the line by making such bold calls. A sudden decrease in bearish interest from top-rated investors could signal that the stock could be one to buy now, or at least deserving of further research.

Here are five stocks losing large percentages of "underperform" ratings from CAPS All-Stars over the past month:

Company

Sector

Change in All-Star Bears From 8/18 to 9/15

CAPS Rating
(Out of 5)

CAPS Research

Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC)

Financials

(15%)

***

WFC

Merrill Lynch (NYSE:MER)

Financials

(29%)

*

MER

US Airways (NYSE:LCC)

Airlines

(18%)

*

LCC

E*Trade (NASDAQ:ETFC)

Financials

(27%)

***

ETFC

Boeing (NYSE:BA)

Aerospace/Defense

(23%)

***

BA

Source: Motley Fool CAPS as of September 22, 2008.

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Todd Wenning congratulates the James Madison Dukes on their big win versus Appalachian State on Saturday. He owns no shares of any company mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. The Fool's disclosure policy protects bulls and bears alike.