Hey there, Fools. I've summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community once again to highlight Friday's biggest gainers among the stocks with a top rating of five stars.

Without further ado:


Friday's % Gain

Golden Star Resources (AMEX:GSS)


Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW)


InterDigital (NASDAQ:IDCC)


Rex Energy


Westwood Holdings


There's a simple reason why I selected the largest five-star gainers as opposed to other big-name winners making noise on Friday, such as Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM): Stocks go up all the time, but unless you were able to predict the pop, what does it matter?   

Our community of more than 78,000 CAPS Fools considers its five-star stocks the most likely to outperform the market. And so far, CAPS has indeed proven its market-beating prowess: Over the last year, top-rated stocks have returned roughly 28%.

Written in the (five) stars?
For example, a whopping 97% of the 525 CAPS players who've rated Silver Wheaton are bullish. On the strength of that support, the Canadian silver mining company has held either a four- or five-star rating for more than six months straight.

In this bull pitch -- by CAPS player frankaj1 back in November of 2006 -- Silver Wheaton's silver lining is put in numbers:

I like SLW for the same reasons I like the ETF SLV [iShares Silver Trust (AMEX:SLV)]: I like math. World silver supply is about 300 million oz for 3+ billion people ... metal is used in production as well as jewelry and coins. Silver is 16 times more plentiful than gold. With gold at 638.10 per troy oz. ... you should expect silver to trade at 1/16th that or $39.88/troy oz. Currently silver is at $13.67 ... plenty of upside potential with little downside risk.

Silver Wheaton is up an impressive 47% since that call.

The bullish takeaway? Always do your math homework. One way of determining how much a specific asset is worth is to calculate how it should be priced relative to other assets. By pouncing on sound, reliable, and logical pricing relationships whenever they're out of sync, you put yourself in a solid position to capture outstanding, and better yet, fairly obvious gains.

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

Here are Friday's biggest one-star decliners:   


Friday's % Loss

Circuit City Stores (NYSE:CC)


Possis Medical




Origen Financial


Bluelinx Holdings


One-star stocks inspire the least confidence from our CAPS players. So while Friday's drop in four-star stock OMNI Energy Services may have caught our community off guard, one-star stocks are fully expected to fall hard. Over the last year, CAPS' lowest-rated stocks dropped an average of 16.6%.

Did a CAPS investor call the fall?
Take, for instance, this Circuit City bear call -- by CAPS player boomslang1982 -- in late July:

I see bad things a coming. Walk into their stores and there is no one around (customers or employees). In many of the stores I have been in, it feels cheaper and older than BB [Best Buy (NYSE:BBY)]. I know this shouldn't affect my rating on a stock, but as a consumer, I take my money to BB and it seems that a lot more people do as well ... which means no money for CC.

The Virginia-based electronics retailer is down 63% since that call. In fact, the company's shares sank to a four-year low on Friday, after management reported a worse-than-expected third-quarter loss of $207.3 million -- consistent with boomslang1982's observations.

The bearish lesson? Trust your own eyes above all else. Just as it might pay to "buy what you know" (and enjoy), it's probably a good idea to stay away from stocks whose products you don't particularly like. Due diligence is always required, but if you're not impressed as a consumer, it might be a stretch to think you'll be impressed as an investor. 

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

Over at Motley Fool CAPS, more than 78,000 investors are Foolishly sharing insightful investment tips to help 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! 

Best Buy is a pick of both Motley Fool Inside Value and Stock Advisor. You'll also find InterDigital at Stock Advisor. The Fool offers free trials of any of its newsletters.

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy is always the big winner.