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5 All-Star Stocks Fighting the Tide

By Matt Koppenheffer - Updated Apr 5, 2017 at 8:02PM

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What's better than a high-quality stock? A high-quality stock that's shrugging off the market's declines!

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 get you only so far. I prefer to find high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like moving the ball out to your team's superstars when they do have a hot hand.

There's no doubt that now's a tough time to try finding winners out there, but to find the current league leaders, I ran a simple momentum screen on The Motley Fool's CAPS screener. Each of the companies below rose by double-digit percentages over the past four weeks -- despite the S&P's big loss -- and has a high rating among CAPS players.

Stock

Four-Week Change

12-Month Change

CAPS Rating (5 Max)

AECOM Technology (NYSE:ACM)

80.7%

4.9%

****

Huaneng Power (NYSE:HNP)

54.8%

(34.0%)

*****

Infinera (NASDAQ:INFN)

29.3%

(48.0%)

*****

Fluor (NYSE:FLR)

24.2%

(35.0%)

*****

Constellation Energy (NYSE:CEG)

19.3%

(71.8%)

****

Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and CAPS as of Dec. 8.

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. In fact, I'll even kick off your research with a look at Fluor.

Providing the pep
President-elect Obama isn't wasting any time getting down and dirty with the recession. And who can blame him? If I had a Grendel-like economic downturn waiting to face me when I stepped into office, I'd be doing the same thing. Obama recently proposed making "the single largest new investment in our national infrastructure since the creation of the federal highway system in the 1950s." The hope is that a massive stimulus package could be used to simultaneously create jobs, pump money into the economy, ward off deflation, and improve the American infrastructure. An audacious goal, for sure.

What does this have to do with Fluor? Well, Fluor provides engineering, procurement, construction-management, and project-management services for projects such as roads and highways, oil refining, wind farms, and nuclear facilities. So it should be no surprise that investors would expect the company to strike some gold if Obama's stimulus plan goes through. Of course, Fluor won't be without competition for those government dollars, and investors have also boosted shares of Jacobs Engineering, URS (NYSE:URS), and Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT) -- among others -- on hopes that they'd grab a big share of Uncle Sam's money pie.

Looking ahead
The biggest question facing Fluor's stock is whether this stimulus plan will go from drawing board to checkbook. As we might guess from the stock's 24% jump over the past month -- not to mention its 72% climb since Nov. 20 -- investors have high hopes for infrastructure spending. And while high hopes can portend good results, they can also set the stage for disappointment.

CAPS member PrestigeWW recently warned that the stock's performance could be out ahead of infrastructure spending by a bit too much: "Overall a good play on the Obama infrastructure train but took off a little [too] early with the rest of the domestic contractors. This one will not beat the market until the domestic infrastructure contracts are signed if this company is even [chosen]."

Most CAPS members who have rated Fluor, however, agree with paco216, who gave the stock a thumbs-up back in November and said:

[Fluor] has a PEG below 1 and is a dominant company in the infrastructure field. The USA and many other countries need to upgrade their roads, factories, pipelines, etc. and Fluor meets those needs in one company. They have a proven record and strong capabilities to meet the requirements of the USA Depts. of Energy, Defense and Homeland Security.

Fielding your team                                                      
So do you think any (or all!) of these companies deserve a place on your All-Star team? Share your thoughts, or check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say, by stopping in at CAPS. While you're there, take a peek at a few more of the 5,400 other stocks that are rated on CAPS.

I think I heard a "booyah" somewhere out there -- thanks, Stuart Scott!

More CAPS Foolishness:

Huaneng Power is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Infinera and Huaneng Power are Motley Fool Rule Breakers selections. The Fool owns shares of Infinera. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

When it comes to basketball, Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer might be the guy Ron Shelton was thinking of when he came up the title White Men Can't Jump. Matt owns no 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 we hear.

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Stocks Mentioned

Fluor Corporation Stock Quote
Fluor Corporation
FLR
$26.85 (1.21%) $0.32
AECOM Stock Quote
AECOM
ACM
$76.57 (2.16%) $1.62
Infinera Corporation Stock Quote
Infinera Corporation
INFN
$5.63 (5.23%) $0.28
Constellation Energy Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Constellation Energy Group, Inc.
CEG
Huaneng Power International, Inc. Stock Quote
Huaneng Power International, Inc.
HNP
$18.34 (5.57%) $0.97

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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