Whether in the corporate lunchroom, your cubicle, or the local watering hole after work, there are regular places we gather to discuss news, sports, or -- if you're like us -- stocks. Here at Motley Fool CAPS, we gather around the virtual water cooler daily to rate stocks and delve into their merits as investments.

Our 135,000-strong CAPS community -- where members give the thumbs-up or thumbs-down to some 5,300 stocks -- has earned its points by seeking out the businesses it thinks will outperform the market. Below, we'll look at some of the leading stocks in the CAPS universe that you're talking about the most, and we'll find out whether you think they'll continue their winning ways.

Stock

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)

No. of Calls

% Outperform Calls

Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN)

****

1753

97%

Hurco (NASDAQ:HURC)

*****

1710

98%

PetroChina (NYSE:PTR)

****

1737

94%

Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW)

****

1596

96%

Yingli Green Energy (NYSE:YGE)

****

1521

96%

All the companies listed in the table have enjoyed a quarter of rising values. Maybe not as good as the broader market, which is up more than 10%, but enough to convince some investors that the "green shoots" theory might be taking hold.

A tall drink of water
The polysilicon price disparity between China and the U.S. is creating an opportunity for photovoltaic module makers such as Yingli Green Energy and Trina Solar (NYSE:TSL) to steal market share from U.S. and European rivals.

In a research note to clients, Hapoalim Securities analyst Gordon Johnson noted that Yingli, Trina, and Suntech Power (NYSE:STP) can purchase polysilicon for around $10 a kilogram cheaper in China than they can elsewhere. Although Yingli modestly cut module shipment targets recently, it also nudged up its gross margin guidance.

Highly rated All-Star CAPS member TSIF believes that once countries go green, going back is just mean -- and that Yingli will benefit from the increased demand headed its way:

Yingli is vertically integrated, which can be good or bad. It's acquiring silicon directly has relieved it [somewhat] of price/availability concerns, but now there is a cheap glut of the silicone. This is not likely to continue and their advantage will pull them ahead. Overall, all three of Yingli's main divisions are well respected in China. Working capital is available. The loss of revenue last quarter caused by European cutbacks is starting to dissipate with Europe, China, and the US ramping up again. There is no real turning back this time from Alt-Energy, regardless of the price of oil. The pace may vary, but the path is firm. China in particular was the big win in my mind.

Draining energy
Another energy play that can benefit from low prices is Devon Energy. The price of natural gas has been suppressed in part by a massive understatement of our country's supply, and the downward pressure on the price helps make it a much more natural alternative to rising oil costs. Innovative drilling techniques such as horizontal boring have opened up new supplies, which makes the case for natural gas-powered vehicles all the more stronger.

CAPS member MasterRoadrunner figures natural gas is a logical alternative for most of our energy needs:

Natural gas is a pretty clean energy source, and fairly cheap to use. Hopefully we will use more natural gas and less dirty coal. A well managed company too.

Gather 'round
With so many good opinions about today's top companies, why not grab a pointy paper cup from the dispenser and join us at the Motley Fool CAPS water cooler? Your input can help guide other investors to stocks with bright prospects for growth? Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page.

Sign up today for the completely free service, and let's hear what you have to say about the great -- and almost great -- companies that interest you.

Suntech Power is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. Hurco is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the other stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.