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 only get you so far. I prefer to find high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like kicking 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 and find winners out there, but to find the current league leaders, I ran a simple momentum screen on The Motley Fool's CAPS screener. The performance of each of the stocks below managed to surpass the S&P 500's impressive 22% gain over the past month, and each has been rated highly by CAPS players.


4-Week Change

12-Month Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Cemex (NYSE:CX)




Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-B)




Potash Corp (NYSE:POT)




Praxair (NYSE:PX)




Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ, and CAPS as of April 6.

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 Cemex.

Providing the pep
There have been a lot of positive signs for Cemex lately, and that's a big breath of fresh air for both the company and its shareholders. A cloud of debt has been hanging over the cement giant ever since it made what now appears to be the horribly timed acquisition of Australian competitor Rinker. As a result of the acquisition, Cemex ended up augmenting its debt pile just as business was about to fall off a cliff.

More recently, though, the Mexican government has set up a $30 billion currency swap with the U.S. Federal Reserve and sought a $47 billion credit line from the IMF. Both could make it easier for companies like Cemex to refinance debt that is coming due in the near term.

Adding to the positive vibes, the U.S. and Mexico put an end to a 15-year-old trade dispute that removed anti-dumping tariffs on Mexican cement. And, of course, we shouldn't overlook the fact that many analysts have started to become more sanguine on the broader economy. A turn in the global economy could mean the potential for construction to pick up sometime sooner than never -- a change in attitude that's renewed investor interest in Cemex, as well as other construction and materials companies like USG (NYSE:USG) and Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT).

Looking ahead
I'm sure that if we asked Mr. T, he would pity the fool that's drowning in debt. So, while recent events may be in Cemex's favor, the company definitely has its work cut out for it when it comes to cleaning up that gnarly balance sheet. If it does pull it off, investors should be well rewarded, because they'll own one of the premier cement companies in the world at -- if they've been buying recently -- a pretty attractive price.

CAPS members seem to think Cemex can pull it off. Of 4,501 members who have weighed in on the stock, 4,373 have rated it an outperformer. CAPS All-Star traderpat9 recently became one of those Cemex bulls, saying: "[Cemex]-another benefactor of the rebuilding of our world. a bargain basment price. must be willing to buy & hold for 3/5 years to reap the huge profits ready to begin."

Fielding your team
So do you think any (or all!) of these companies deserve a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts, or check out more of what your fellow Fools have to say, by stopping by CAPS. And while you're there, you can also take a peek at a few more of the 5,300-plus rated stocks.

I think I heard a “booyah” somewhere out there – thanks, Stuart Scott!

More CAPS Foolishness:

Cemex is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. Berkshire Hathaway, Costco Wholesale, and USG are Motley Fool Inside Value recommendations. Berkshire Hathaway, Costco Wholesale, and Cemex are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Costco Wholesale, and Cemex. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, 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 with the title White Men Can't Jump. He owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, but does not own shares of any of the other companies mentioned. The Fool’s disclosure policy has a 55'' vertical jump and can dunk from half court. Or so I hear.