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 of Brocade Communications Systems (NASDAQ:BRCD) rose 18% in one day last week, after the company announced it was looking for buyers.

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 140,000 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 25% in the past four weeks, a market cap 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

Ceragon Networks (NASDAQ:CRNT)

*****

30.3%

Jamba

****

69.4%

Buckle

***

26.7%

InterOil (NYSE:IOC)

*

48.6%

Overstock.com (NASDAQ:OSTK)

*

35.6%

Source: Motley Fool CAPS. Price return from Sept. 11 through Oct. 9.

Wireless pick and shovel
Backhaul specialist Ceragon Networks recently announced a major equipment order from a leading WiMAX operator in North America said to be valued at several million dollars, giving shares a little juice lately. It will also be working with Alvarion (NASDAQ:ALVR) on a large-scale network spanning 17 states to deliver broadband to rural communities. The company provides wireless backhaul solutions to companies like AT&T in major cities like New York, where wireless networks continue to expand their capacity.

Smartphones, more mobile broadband applications and emerging wireless markets are fueling the growth, and one CL King analyst recently said he expects the growth in smartphone use and subscriber growth to benefit the company. Even Mad Money star Jim Cramer is bullish on Ceragon; he expects wireless backhaul penetration to increase "in a major way."

Many CAPS members agree. They like the future potential for the Israeli-based company, as well as its strong and debt-free balance sheet. Today, 98% of the 1,558 CAPS members rating Ceragon Networks expect it to beat the broader market.

Caution: Hot gasses
Australian oil company InterOil recently got a pop from some surprising good news. Drilling at its natural gas reservoir in the Antelope-2 well hit the top of its reservoir much higher than expected, suggesting a bigger reservoir than the company had anticipated.

One Morgan Stanley analyst recommended that investors buy the stock, believing that the company is close to finding a partner for its liquefied natural gas project in Papua New Guinea. Though companies such as CNOOC and PetroChina (NYSE:PTR) are reportedly showing interest, InterOil continues to search for a partner for the project, which would go up against a $12.5 billion development being headed up by ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM).

Despite the apparent good news, a majority of CAPS members weighing in remain bearish on the stock. Just 45% of the 437 who've rated it gave InterOil a thumbs-up, leaving it at a lowly one-star rating.

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 140,000-plus members have covered in Motley Fool CAPS. It's totally free to be a part of the community, and the payback is more than worth it.

The Motley Fool Hidden Gems service scours the market for small companies with exceptional management and growth prospects. Check out what the team is recommending today with a free 30-day trial to the service.

Fool contributor Dave Mock has his own story, but there's no "happily ever after" at the end of it. He owns shares of ExxonMobil. Alvarion is a Rule Breakers recommendation. Ceragon Networks is a Hidden Gems pick. CNOOC is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy has the momentum of a freight train, but can stop on a dime.