Even on the market's worst days, buyout news and other short-term forces can send individual stocks up by 10%, 25%, even 50%.        

For example, shares in American Axle & Manufacturing (NYSE:AXL) more than doubled last Tuesday when it won an extension on its credit facility and said that General Motors would provide a financial lifeline for the company.   

But beyond less-predictable events like that one are stocks with fundamentally compelling reasons for recent momentum. The trick is to find those stocks. That's where Motley Fool CAPS comes in.

The story behind the story
CAPS is no crowd of lemmings. Its best-performing members' opinions do more to shape each company's rating than the picks of their poorer-performing peers. Let's use the collective wisdom of more than 135,000 CAPS members to filter out the noise and find companies offering strong momentum.

We'll use CAPS' handy stock screening tool to quickly zero in on companies with a stock price increase of at least 30% in the past four weeks, a market cap of greater than $100 million, and a beta of less than 3. Below is a sample of stocks that our screen returned. If you'd like, run this screen yourself -- just keep in mind that results may change as the market does.

Company

CAPS Rating
(Out of 5)

4-Week
Price Change

Trico Marine Services

*****

77.9%

SandRidge Energy (NYSE:SD)

*****

34.6%

HRPT Properties Trust (NYSE:HRP)

****

33%

Popular

***

39.1%

CBS (NYSE:CBS)

***

37.2%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS. Price return from July 24 through Aug. 21.

SandRidge Energy
SandRidge Energy, which specializes in the exploration and production of oil and gas, posted a $91.2 million net loss with revenue falling by 65% in the second quarter, but its adjusted earnings excluding one-time items were enough to beat analysts' estimates. The "not as bad as we thought" news propelled shares, and the stock also got a push as analysts raised price targets for the company. Many CAPS members are bullish on the outlook for natural gas, and like the fact that T. Boone Pickens gives the company a bullish nod too. Overall, nearly 96.4% of the 674 CAPS members rating SandRidge Energy expect it to outperform the market.

CBS
CBS is starting to see a turnaround in advertising sales, which make up a large percentage of revenue and have been a big drag on earnings and revenue in recent quarters. After posting a more than 90% drop in second-quarter profit, the company said it expects ad sales to improve in the second half, which has boosted shares in recent weeks. More specifically, it's been seeing an increase in retail and pharmaceutical advertising, as well as from the auto sector thanks to the "cash for clunkers" program.

As major TV networks like CBS, General Electric's (NYSE:GE) NBC, and Walt Disney's (NYSE:DIS) ABC get ready for the prime-time season starting next month, CBS is taking a slightly different ad sales approach than last year. It's making fewer upfront sales and holding out for sales closer to when ads will air. The so-called scatter market ad rates have been increasing as economic data and signs of recovery have improved, so the company is hoping to come out ahead by changing its strategy.

Like Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ:SIRI), CBS's radio division has also generated weaker ad revenue in recent quarters. But format changes across some major markets such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have helped revenue as the number of listeners has increased and ratings have improved, offering some glimmers of hope for renewed growth. At this point, 80% of the 347 CAPS members rating CBS are bullish.

And you?
What's your story? Whether you buy the tale of a stock that's soaring or souring, your own research is more important than collective opinions. But these collective opinions can make your due diligence a whole lot easier.

Add your take on these or any of the 5,300 stocks that our 135,000-plus members have covered in Motley Fool CAPS. Or add your comments directly to the column here in the comment box below.

The Motley Fool Stock Advisor service looks for companies with strong management poised to beat the market over the long haul. To see all the stocks that have helped Tom and David Gardner beat the market by 42 points on average, take a free 30-day trial.

Fool contributor Dave Mock has his own story, but there's no "happily ever after" at the end of it. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Walt Disney is both a Stock Advisor and an Inside Value selection. The Fool's disclosure policy has the momentum of a freight train, but can stop on a dime.