"The bigger they are, the harder they fall." This old saying sums up the worst nightmare of every homeowner, every gold buyer, and every investor in today's market. Dare ye buy at the top?

Every day, MSN Money publishes a list of the market's top stocks -- the companies whose shares have just hit their highest intraday price of any time in the past 52 weeks. Every day, investors read this list and tremble -- some with greed (big mo', baby!), and others in pure, unmitigated, acrophobic terror (whatever you do, don't look down).

Over on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors just like you are watching these same companies and voting their gut on whether they'll keep rising or stumble and fall. Usually, the ratings wax optimistic as stocks hit new highs -- because everyone loves a winner. But what do you make of it when some of the smartest investors out there are panning a hot stock?

You could heed them. You could ignore them. You could take the stock tickers and construct anagrams from 'em. For my money, though, the best course of action is to use the "52-week highs" list as just a starting point for further research. After all, stocks can go up for many reasons, and it's up to you to decide how worthy those reasons are. But thanks to Motley Fool CAPS, now you don't have to make the decision alone.

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest "52-Week Highs" list at MSN Money. What does our panel of nearly 19,000 stock gurus (and counting) have to say about them?

One Year Ago Today

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating





Diageo (NYSE:DEO)




Novo Nordisk




Posco (NYSE:PKX)




China Petroleum & Chemical








Imperial Tobacco




*Five stars = Highest possible CAPS rating; one star = lowest. Companies are selected from the "New 52-Week Highs" list published on MSN Money on the Saturday following close of trading last week. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

Can you feel the love?
In honor of the Fool's new international investing newsletter, Motley Fool Global Gains, I assembled today's list with the specific intent of giving it a bit of international flavor. As you can see, we've got companies from China to Ireland, Korea to Denmark, and, er, London to Bristol. One thing that this disparate diaspora has in common: They're all hitting their 52-week highs. And one other: For the most part, they're highly rated by the CAPS community (because, hey, who doesn't love a winner?). But usually, we have at least one company on this list about which CAPS players express skepticism. Not today. Today, love is everywhere. Not a one of these stocks earns a below-average star rating, and scanning the raters' "pitches," even the isolated negative comments come few and far between.

Time to chime in
For a contrarian like myself, that sounds like a challenge. Surely someone out there knows a reason why one or more of these companies will turn out to be a dog in 2007. If you're that someone, consider this your (virtual) engraved invitation to come on over and liven up the debate. Whether it's CNOOC or Diageo, Novo Nordisk or Posco that gets your goat, tell us why, and help to restore order to the universe in the process.

After all, on Motley Fool CAPS, you've got as much right to state your case as any wingtip-wearin' investment banker. So tell us what you think, and may the best argument win.

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Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. You can find him on CAPS, publicly pontificating under the handle TMFDitty, where he's currently ranked 67 out of nearly 19,000 raters. The Fool has a disclosure policy.