However hard the market slams a stock, there's always the chance it'll come bouncing right back. We'll consult our Motley Fool CAPS community to find shares on the rebound, searching in one specific sector of the economy for companies with rising CAPS ratings.      

Among the 33 stocks listed under conglomerates in the CAPS screener, we've unearthed more than a few with high four- and five-star ratings. That means our 150,000 CAPS members are confident that these stocks will beat the market in the months ahead. Let's see what members are saying about the five below:


CAPS Rating Today

Recent Price

52-Week Price Change

Estimated Long-Term
Growth Rate

Asta Funding (Nasdaq: ASFI)





Cooper Industries





Danaher (NYSE: DHR)





General Electric (NYSE: GE)





PPG Industries (NYSE: PPG)





Source: Motley Fool CAPS; Yahoo! Finance.

While the broader market averages staged a pretty bold recovery until recently, conglomerates have done even better. The average company is up more than 239% from a year ago, but that's including some small penny stocks that have risen by a dime or a quarter.

So let's take a closer look at why some investors think some of these other companies won't be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

Some spring in its step
Although it's listed as a conglomerate, Asta Funding is really a specialty finance company, collecting distressed receivables for MasterCard (NYSE: MA) and Visa (NYSE: V), as well as those from phone companies, retailers, and car companies. If you've got some bad debt, you'll likely hear from Asta or one of its rivals like Portfolio Recovery Associates (Nasdaq: PRAA).

Considering the state of the economy and the number of people going into foreclosure on their mortgages, it's not surprising that 94% of the CAPS members who rate Asta Funding pick it to do well compared with the broad market averages. Let us know what you think on the Asta Funding CAPS page.

It has a certain glow
You can't mistake General Electric for anything but a conglomerate. With its fingers in so many pies across the economy, it's no wonder this was often considered a "widows and orphans" stock. Modern-day investing might have pretty much done away with that concept, but GE remains a solid component of the economy nonetheless.

From energy, technology, and media to finance, health care, and industrial products, GE does it all. And it's just that sort of broad diversity that attracts investors, who figure it will be a "steady Eddie" during turbulent times. CAPS member sockmonkey1 says most of the segments it invests in are due for a recovery.

These guys have their fingers in most bottomed-out markets. Only one way to go, with some natural diversification to boot. I can guess which sectors may grow first, or just assume that GE covers me for transportation, capital, medical, power, etc.

Well, 14,000 CAPS members can't be wrong. That's how many of them have indicated they think GE's going to outperform the broader market. Maybe you'll go against the grain on the General Electric CAPS page, joining the 7% of CAPS members who think it won't be such a great performer.

The ball's in your court
There are many factors that go into whether a stock is a buy or a sell, so it pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. 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. Share your thoughts about whether these stocks are ready to go even higher.

Portfolio Recovery Associates is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Portfolio Recovery Associates. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.