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

Percent Below 52-Week High

CAPS Rating

Agrium (NYSE:AGU)








Partner Communications (NASDAQ:PTNR)








Halliburton (NYSE:HAL)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance, CapitalIQ, a division of Standard & Poor's, and CAPS as of June 23.

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.

One man's trash...
In the movie The Big Lebowski, the hero's car takes one beating after another -- from getting peppered with Uzi fire to being stolen to slamming into a dumpster. Our hero ("the Dude") is dead broke, so he not only can't afford a new car, but he also doesn't seem to have insurance on his trusty junker.

While the Dude had to put up with his shipwreck of a car, the rest of us insurance-carrying drivers would have eventually been told by our insurance company that it was time to let our poor wheels die in peace. That's where Stock Advisor favorite Copart comes in.

When an insurance company like Berkshire Hathaway's (NYSE:BRK-A) (NYSE:BRK-B) GEICO decides that the cost of repairing a car, setting the driver up with a rental, and paying other associated costs exceeds the total value of the pre-wreck car, minus what they can get for selling off the mangled mess, they cut the driver a check and dispose of the hunk of metal. And in a growing number of cases, the insurance company knocks on Copart's door to take care of the wrecked car.

You might think of Copart as the eBay of the car-salvage world, hooking up motivated insurance sellers with buyers interested in trying to fix up the cars or simply dismantle them to sell as parts. And just like eBay, Copart's Virtual Bidding Second Generation Internet technology makes most of this happen over the web.

Copart has been popular among investors lately, not only because it's shown healthy growth, but because it's shown that it can prosper even as the rest of the business world is dealing with recession-like conditions.

On CAPS, the stock carries a maximum five-star rating and has a healthy 53-to-1 bull-to-bear ratio. CAPS All-Star JCSmiley rated the stock an outperformer back in April, noting an appreciation for the way the company is cornering its market:

[Copart] is not a value stock by any means. It's purely a growth stock. I think this company has a great niche market, and the CEO has found a way to blend junkyards and the Internet together. Nice combination! The number of cars on the planet will not reduce anytime soon, and people are always needing parts for those cars.

Fielding your team
So do you think any (or all!) of these companies deserve a place on your All-Star team? You can share your thoughts on Copart, 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!

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