On some market days, news headlines are dominated by individual stocks whose shares have soared over the past year. Other times, investors are bombarded with statistics of how an entire group of stocks -- from a country, sector, or industry -- has outpaced the general market.

Indian stocks are on the top of many investors' lists lately, thanks to a massive population and developing economy growing beyond industries commonly equated with India, such as IT and outsourcing solutions.

But I can tell you tales of companies from another region beating the pants off Indian stocks ... and where you can find out more about them.

Would the real hot stocks please come forward?
By using Motley Fool CAPS, investors can get detailed information and community intelligence on not only individual stocks, but entire sectors, regions, or industries.

Any of the 5,200 rated stocks that are profiled in CAPS can be "tagged" with a descriptor that groups the company with others that share a certain quality, such as a country of origin, sector, or industry. A single click on the "India" tag pulls up a list of 23 stocks that -- despite India's popularity as an investment -- have risen only a meager 4.4% in the past year.

The tags in CAPS can quickly and simply lead investors to another region of the world that has easily outpaced the returns of the Indian group -- Argentina. The one-year return of the 14 companies highlighted in this tag is a healthy 20.1%. Of course, the returns of each group don't necessarily mean that investors should ignore one and chase the other -- there may be great opportunities in each. Thankfully, CAPS can help us dig under the surface here, too.

From Macro to Micro
Tag groups can quickly be sorted by their CAPS star rank, denoted by one to five stars, with five being the best. Individual companies can also be viewed to show details of just who -- from Wall Street to Main Street -- is bullish or bearish on the company and why. For instance, here's a few of the highest-rated stocks in the India group and their individual performance in the past year.

Company

CAPS Rank
(out of 5)

One-Year Performance

Tata Motors (NYSE:TTM)

*****

(2.7%)

Infosys Technologies (NASDAQ:INFY)

*****

(21.2%)

HDFC Bank (NYSE:HDB)

*****

67.3%

Cognizant Technology (NASDAQ:CTSH)

*****

(18.9%)

Similarly, here's a sampling of Argentina-tagged stocks that -- judging by interest in the CAPS community -- investors may want to consider:

Company

CAPS Rank

One-Year
Performance

MetroGAS (NYSE:MGS)

*****

42.3%

Petrobras Energia Participaciones (NYSE:PZE)

*****

5.6%

Telecom Argentina

*****

53.9%

Cresud (NASDAQ:CRESY)

****

43.3%

Even though Indian stocks as a group have trailed market averages in the recent past, there are still some gems to be found in the group. Although half the size of larger rival ICICI Bank, Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation HDFC Bank has been riding the same trends of booming demand in India for consumer debt and financing. The growing base of credit card customers and applications for consumer loans is just one aspect of the retail banker's business that has fueled greater-than-30% compound annual net income growth over the past five years.

While Argentina doesn't have the wind in its sails of a population exceeding a billion people, the nation's economy is experiencing similarly rapid growth. With annual economic growth above 8% in the past five years, many basic industries such as energy and telecommunications are experiencing dramatic expansion to keep up with demand. Telecom Argentina, for instance, just reported a 35% increase in cellular subscribers over the year-ago period, while broadband subscriptions jumped 81%. Even though the cellular market in Argentina is largely saturated, the proliferation of value-added and next-generation services has kept revenues growing just as fast as any emerging market

Before you buy ...
Of course, investors don't want to be looking in the review mirror to find out where they should be investing now. But the underlying reasons behind dramatic run-ups in stocks or groups of stocks can help investors better understand macroeconomic trends that may significantly impact investments.

Regardless of where investing ideas come from, though, investors should always perform their own due diligence on companies, rather than simply following crowds or individual recommendations. There's always room to give your own opinion in Motley Fool CAPS as well, and it's free.

When it comes to running long distance, Fool contributor Dave Mock finds himself lagging more than leading. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here. Dave is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. HDFC Bank is a Global Gains recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy beats all other disclosure policies, year in and year out.