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 110,000-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:


Today’s Intraday Price


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform

Harvest Natural Resource


Oil, Gas and Consumable Fuels

4 Stars

342 of 362

GulfMark Offshore


Energy Equipment and Services

5 Stars

309 of 312

United States Oil Fund (NYSE:USO)


Capital Markets

3 Stars

814 of 985

Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of Dec. 23, 2008

Top-Rated oil, gas and consumable fuels companies:

  • Nordic American Tanker Shipping Limited (NYSE:NAT): Stock price is 7% higher than last year.
  • VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE:EGY): Stock price is 4% higher than last year.

Top-Rated energy equipment and services companies:

  • CARBO Ceramics, Inc. (NYSE:CRR): Stock price is -14% lower than last year.
  • Enbridge, Inc. (USA) (NYSE:ENB): Stock price is -17% lower than last year.

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