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 will 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.

There's no doubt that now's a tough time to try and find winners out there, but to find the current league leaders, I ran a simple momentum screen on The Motley Fool's CAPS screener. Each of the stocks below was up 5% or more over the past four weeks -- despite the S&P's decline over the same period -- and has been rated highly by CAPS players.


Four-Week Change

12-Month Change

CAPS Rating (Max 5)

Ctrip.com (NASDAQ:CTRP)




Walter Industries (NYSE:WLT)




China Fire & Security (NASDAQ:CFSG)




American Eagle Outfitters (NYSE:AEO)




Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM)




Sources: Yahoo! Finance, Capital IQ, and CAPS as of March 16.

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. In fact, I'll even kick off your research with a look at Akamai Technologies.

Providing the pep
There haven't been any major happenings at Akamai over the past month to explain why it's been able to float above the rest of the market. As they are for many beaten-down stocks out there right now, though, investors may be starting to get interested in Akamai shares as they pick through the aftermath of the stock market crash.

There's good reason for investors to be sniffing around Akamai. The company is the gorilla in the business of content delivery, and in particular improving and accelerating streaming video and other multimedia applications. When you pull up the Hulu video of Jon Stewart facing off with Jim Cramer, for example, Akamai is behind the scenes making sure that the video has a smooth ride on its way to your screen. And while Hulu may be quickly becoming a major player in the online video market, Akamai has plenty of other big-name customers, including Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), MTV Networks, and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY).

Looking out into the future, it doesn't take psychic Miss Cleo to figure out that multimedia delivery over the Web is only going to grow further. While there is competition in the industry from the likes of Limelight Networks, Akamai still clearly holds the leadership position.

The call from CAPS
Akamai is a strong favorite on CAPS, with 96% of the members issuing a thumbs up. While there are plenty of recent outperform ratings, there are also a number of CAPS members who have been positive on the stock for a few years now, including CAPS All-Star TMFHuk, who originally picked the stock to outperform back in mid-2006 with the following pitch: "[Akamai] is the hands-down leader in Internet content delivery. Since Internet growth is not likely to stall anytime soon and demand for digital content is certainly not slowing (can we say "video downloads"?), [Akamai] looks like a winner."

Since TMFHuk's call, the stock has more or less tracked the market, but there's reason to believe that it could pull ahead going forward. Though the stock appears a bit expensive when we consider the numbers on a GAAP basis, the company does have a good business, a strong cash position, and some net operating losses from its early years that it's using to offset current taxes. I wouldn't exactly consider this a meat-and-potatoes stock for a portfolio, but it certainly could be a growth-y side dish that adds some spice to the meal.

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 it, or check out more of what your fellow Fools have 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 5,300-plus other stocks that are rated on CAPS.

I think I heard a boo-yah somewhere out there -- thanks, Stuart Scott!

More CAPS Foolishness:

Akamai Technologies is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers selection. China Fire & Security Group is a Global Gains selection. Ctrip.com International is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick. Best Buy is an Inside Value recommendation. Apple and Best Buy are Stock Advisor recommendations. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. 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 had in mind when he thought of 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.