When a stock hits a fresh low, it can either signal a dirt cheap dream stock or a dreadful stock to avoid. Separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult, but finding well-run companies at bargain-basement prices is a great way to accumulate a fortune over the long run.

With that in mind, we'll use the aggregate intelligence of the 120,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to see what the community is saying about stocks hitting 52-week lows today. The community's approval (signified by four- and five-star ratings) could indicate that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:

Company

Today’s Intraday Price

Industry

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. (NASDAQ:TTWO)

$9.07

Software

3 Stars

798 of 871

iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Total Return Index ETN (NYSE:OIL)

$23.35

Funds

3 Stars

322 of 391

Stone Energy Corp (NYSE:SGY)

$9.96

Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels

3 Stars

247 of 263

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 18, 2008.

Top-rated software companies:

  • TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSYS): Stock price is 155% higher than last year.
  • NAVTEQ Corp (NYSE:NVT): Stock price is 72% higher than last year.

Top-rated funds:

  • CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust (NYSE:FXY): Stock price is 26% higher than last year.
  • POWERSHS DB MULTI SECT COMM (NYSE:DGL): Stock price is 3% higher than last year.

Join us on CAPS to learn more about these and countless other interesting stock ideas.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.