Some stocks are one-hit wonders, making a big splash when they first appear, then quickly fizzling into obscurity or oblivion. But for other stocks, that initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we've listed three stocks that made some of the biggest upward moves over the past month, which we'll pair with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


1 Month % Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources (NYSE: SHZ)



FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL)



First BanCorp (NYSE: FBP)



1 Month % change from Nov. 17 to Dec. 17.

As the markets whipsaw to changes in changes to second half economic performance, the S&P 500 has been volatile. So before we get shaken out again, let's see why the CAPS community thinks some of these companies might continue to outperform the market.

A mighty temblor
China's decision to impose more restrictions on rare earth minerals caused Chinese mining outfit China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources to surge over the past month. Stocks of all rare earth minerals players from Molycorp (NYSE: MCP) to Rare Earth Elements (NYSE: REE) have rocketed higher on the theory that not only will these minerals become more valuable, but will push the U.S. to once again start mining them.

While the Chinese miner soared, it's a misnomer to call China Shen Zhou a rare earth specialist. It mainly mines fluorite, an ore mainly used by the steel industry as a melting agent, and by the chemical industry in making hydrofluoric acid, but not one of the 17 rare earth elements. While it might contain traces of those elements, they hardly seem worthy of warranting the mark up in the miner's share price. This looks more of a case of investors piling into a stock that says "China" and "mining."

It could explain why CAPS members are virtually evenly split on its prospects and why two thirds of All-Stars rating believe it will underperform. As a result, CAPS member pchop123 might regret his decision to jump aboard this fast moving stock.

Mine the China Shen Zhou Mining & Resources CAPS page for what others think about its potential.

A sunny disposition
Back before electric cars seized the public's imagination, remember when fuel cell energy was going to rule the roads? Before the Volt got General Motors (NYSE: GM) all charged up, it was going to fill up on fuel cell cars. Fuel cell pioneer Ballard Power (Nasdaq: BLDP) once traded hands at prices north of $114 a share, now they go for a buck-fifty. Literally, $1.50.

While Ballard and FuelCell Energy may have been largely forgotten by the investing public, which moved onto the next new thing in electric power, solar power, and yes, rare earth minerals, the industry hasn't been sitting idle. FuelCell, for example, significantly narrowed its losses in the latest quarter and its backlog of business soared.

While backlog doesn't neatly translate into guaranteed future sales, it's an indication that the technology still has life -- though that doesn't mean the stock is investment-worthy. As CAPS member pjmalloy notes, the company has a long way to go before it will be profitable.

You can follow along with FuelCell Energy's promise by adding the stock to your watchlist and having all the Foolish news and analysis gathered together for you in one place.

A speedy opportunity
It must be an annual thing with troubled Puerto Rican regional lender First BanCorp. Last year around the same time, the troubled bank's stock surged as rumor had it one of its big shareholders, the Bank of Nova Scotia, was going to make a bid for it. At the time First BanCorp had just become one of the largest TARP recipients to default on its TARP dividend payments.

Now the bank got a boost after Doral Financial made a $96 million offer for it, even as it's in the midst of selling off bad loans from its portfolio and taking a hit on earnings in the process. The asset sale will serve to clean up its balance sheet, a process that could speed up as investor appetite for these loans increases.

Highly rated CAPS All-Star HashPipe99 says there's hope that the process will play out and the common shares of the regional bank will perform just as well as the preferred shares have.

Look at it for yourself, the common stock took the same hit -- percentage wise -- as the preferreds but only just now have they started their rebound back up. I know that the preferreds carry a premium, but if the commons eventually play out the same way that the preferred shares did, then over a rather short amount of time we might just be looking at a four bagger from today's price of $0.41.

Be sure to add it into the Fool's free portfolio tracker, then head over to the First BanCorp CAPS page and deposit your thoughts on its prospects.

Shake, rattle, and roll
With these stocks shaking the market this past month it pays to start your own research on them at 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.