When the clock's ticking down and the game's on the line, which of your teammates do you trust to sink a winning shot? Sure, you could dish the rock to your resident superstar -- but what if he's playing ice-cold at the moment? So instead, you pass to the guy with the hot hand, the one who'll be deemed en fuego tomorrow on ESPN.

Momentum investors are looking for stocks in a similar state of sizzle. But momentum by itself will only get you so far. I prefer to find high-quality stocks that also have some positive inertia on their side. It's like kicking the ball out to your team's superstars when they do have a hot hand.

To find these league-leading winners, I cross-referenced a simple momentum screen with data from The Motley Fool's CAPS investing community. Each of the companies below is up 30% or more over the past year, now trades within 5% of its 52-week high, and has been rated highly by CAPS players.


12-Month Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Mosaic (NYSE: MOS)



JA Solar (Nasdaq: JASO)



Petrobras (NYSE: PBR)



Monsanto (NYSE: MON)



Deere (NYSE: DE)



Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ, and CAPS as of April 21.

At first glance, this sure looks like a high-quality group. But, as always, I highly advise taking a close look before you throw a bounce pass in the direction of any of these stocks.

Shine on, you crazy JA Solar
With Earth Day upon us, it seems fitting to tackle JA Solar and its market-walloping 192% one-year run. Of course, we could also choose to discuss some of JA's sun-sucking pals, like First Solar (Nasdaq: FSLR) or Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ) -- they've both hit a double or better over the past year.

In all the rush to ride these solar stocks to energy-independent nirvana, it might be worth taking a quick pit stop to consider what we're really looking at here. As fellow Fool Toby Shute pointed out back in February, these companies are all trying to become the top dog in the production of standard photovoltaics (PV). While that has been a profitable approach because the technology is proven and working today, it also seems to provide the manufacturers with thin, if any, competitive advantage. The number of solar outfits that have come out of the ether in just the past few years and become billion-dollar, publicly held companies -- JA Solar included -- should be evidence enough that it doesn't take a heck of a lot to start one of these companies.

Underscoring this point, although there are more than 700 JA Solar bulls on CAPS, you'll be hard-pressed to find one who's bullish because of anything specific to JA's business -- besides the fact that the company makes solar cells, of course.

This doesn't mean that investors should steer completely clear of solar, though. There are a lot of good reasons why solar has gotten so much attention -- sky-high oil prices being just one of them. However, focusing on one specific solar stock may be a dicey position to take while the industry is so young and dynamic. For those bent on betting on solar, a better strategy might be to play the venture-capitalist role and spread your bets over a handful of solar companies. After all, even some of the top CAPS players aren't finding much difference between the solar players. CAPS All-Star NCJensen scored more than 300 points by giving JA Solar a thumbs-up this time last year, saying:

Why not? I know absolutely nothing about this stock. That said, I love this stock. Why? Two reasons. China. Solar power. I love them both, so why not love this stock?

So do you think JA Solar deserves a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts on it, or check out more of what your fellow Fools had to say about it (or any of the other stocks above), by stopping by CAPS. And while you're there, you can also take a peek at few more of the 5,500-plus other stocks that are rated on CAPS.

I think I heard a "booyah" somewhere out there - thanks, Stuart Scott!

More CAPS Foolishness:

Petroleo Brasileiro is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

When it comes to basketball, Fool contributor Matt Koppenheffer might be the guy Ron Shelton was thinking of when he came up with the title White Men Can't Jump. He does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Fool's disclosure policy has a 55'' vertical jump and can dunk from half court. Or so I hear.