Hey there, Fools. I've summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community once again to highlight a few of Monday's biggest winners among the stocks with top ratings of four or five stars.

Without further ado:


Yesterday's % Gain

Coventry Health Care (NYSE:CVH)






Cemex (NYSE:CX)


UnitedHealth (NYSE:UNH)


There's a reason why I selected those notable gainers as opposed to other winners making noise on Monday, like low-rated amusement park operator Cedar Fair: Stocks go up all the time, but unless you were able to predict the pop, what does it matter?  

Our community of more than 135,000 CAPS Fools considers its high-star stocks the most likely to outperform the market.

Written in the (five) stars?
For example, 99% of the 375 All-Star members who've rated Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection Coventry have a bullish opinion of the stock. In late October, one of those top Fools, tj99, explained why the health insurer's health risks were worth taking on:

Solid company, terrible time in the markets. Who knows what is ahead for health care? But good companies adapt, and this is a buying opportunity if you have a long term perspective, and can tolerate the uncertainty.

Shares of Coventry are up an impressive 89% since that call. In fact, shares of several highly rated health insurers bucked yesterday's downtrend after the Obama administration seemed to reduce the importance of a government-run public health option.

The bullish lesson?
Learn to embrace uncertain situations. Investors often have a misconception that they can sit back, relax on the sidelines, and simply jump into a stock when all of its risks are resolved. But as Warren Buffett reminds us: "The future is never clear, and you pay a very high price in the stock market for a cheery consensus. Uncertainty is actually the friend of the buyer of long-term values."

And now for the losers ...
Of course, winning isn't everything in the stock market.

Here are five of Monday's biggest decliners with one- or two-star ratings:   


Yesterday's % Loss

Rosetta Stone (NYSE:RST)


MGM Mirage


Las Vegas Sands




Ford Motor (NYSE:F)


While yesterday's drop in highly-rated Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) may have caught our community off-guard, low-ranked stocks are fully expected to fall hard.

Did CAPS call the fall?
Last month, for instance, CAPS member sett0047 couldn't quite comprehend Rosetta Stone's stock price:

[Rosetta] may in fact offer attractive near-term potential, but the bulk of low-risk growth has already been realized. Hence the IPO cash-out. I know, I know … what about the global market? Ok fine, but it's not practical to apply the same valuation to projected growth outside the U.S. as it comes with heightened risk and will likely be achieved at lower margins.

Of course, shares of the language education company plunged over 25% yesterday after it cancelled a secondary offering and issued a gloomy outlook on higher marketing and development costs -- exactly as sett0047 had warned.

The bearish takeaway?
Before you go for growth, make sure it's actually there. Extrapolating recent growth rates into the future is notoriously prone to error, so always focus on a company's challenges going forward rather than fixating on the past. As Buffett tells it, "The investor of today does not profit from yesterday's growth."

The final Foolish move
Investors often focus strictly on stock price movements without realizing that developing a proper stock-picking process counts most.

Over at Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are Foolishly sharing insightful investment tips to help, above all else, identify tomorrow's big movers. Over time, consistently reverse-engineering winning -- and losing -- stocks will help you become a more Foolish investor.

Log in to CAPS today and start participating. It's absolutely free -- and a lot of fun! 

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Coventry, Cemex, and UnitedHealth are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Cemex is also a choice of Global Gains, and the Fool owns shares of it. UnitedHealth is also a pick from Inside Value, and the Fool owns shares of it, as well. The Fool's disclosure policy is always the big winner.