Some stocks are one-hit wonders, making a big splash when they first appear, then quickly fizzling into obscurity or oblivion. But for other stocks, that initial big move is only a preview for even bigger and better gains to come.

Today, we've listed three stocks that made some of the biggest upward moves over the past month, which we'll pair with the ratings issued by our Motley Fool CAPS community. The higher each stock's rating, the greater CAPS members' faith in that company's ability to keep on beating the market.


1-Month  % Change

CAPS Rating (out of 5)

3Par (NYSE: PAR)



Atlas Pipeline Partners (NYSE: APL)



China Agritech (Nasdaq: CAGC)



One-month % change from July 16 to Aug. 18.

As the markets whipsaw to changes in second-half economic performance, the S&P 500 has been volatile. So before we get shaken out again, let's see why the CAPS community thinks some of these companies might continue to outperform the market.

A mighty temblor
Intel announced today that it will buy McAfee (NYSE: MFE) for $7.7 billion in a bid to create a security software and hardware outfit. The chip giant aims to protect the server and cloud networks that process data flowing from devices around the globe. That sort of shield would benefit the recently announced tie-up of virtualized storage specialist 3Par and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL), but it's really just the latest in a long list of tech-sector mashups, as hardware makers seek to extend their reach.

Earlier this year, we identified 3Par as a stock that might fit in well with a portfolio designed to amass a fortune. Still, CAPS member dajaydee presciently noted back in April that the real profits would arrive if and when the virtual computing and cloud-computing specialist became a takeover candidate:

I like this company as a speculative pick to do well as we move forward into the future of cloud computing. I think this company will do well on it's own, but the real value will come if they become the target of a takeover bid. I would recommend keeping only a small portion of money you can afford to lose in this company's stock as the future of cloud computing is still too unclear.

A speedy opportunity
Atlas Pipeline Partner investors got all dreamy over the news that the natural gas distributor would sell its Elk City assets to Enbridge Energy Partners. The sale allowed Atlas to focus more on its Marcellus play, while cleaning up its balance sheet. For its part, midstream energy company Enbridge will broaden its focus beyond the up-and-coming Granite Wash in Texas.

The CAPS Gas Pipeline sector has enjoyed a 25% increase in value over the past year, putting it well ahead of the market in general, and investors find themselves dreaming about additional growth at Atlas. More than 93% of the CAPS members rating this master limited partnership have piped in their bullish sentiment, but you can join them on the Atlas Pipeline Partners CAPS page and let us know your view.

Ciao, baby
BHP Billiton's $38 billion hostile bid for PotashCorp (NYSE: POT) owes to BHP's realization that the next stage of profits in China's growth scenario will come from feeding its people. BHP has already helped build up the country's infrastructure with its shipments of iron ore, but with a slowdown expected in China's economy,  helping to bring food to the masses could now be a smart play.

That's why investors might want to pay attention to Chinese agriculture stocks such as China Agritech and China Green Agriculture (NYSE: CGA). China Agritech manufactures and sells organic liquid compound fertilizers, and it conceivably could become a takeover candidate itself, either for a company wanting to follow in BHP's footsteps, or BHP itself.

Some 90% of the CAPS members rating China Agritech think it's a market-beating investment. The whole Fertilizer sector on our investor community site has surged 20% over the past month, suggesting increased interest in these commodities.

Shake, rattle, and roll
With these stocks shaking the market this past month, it pays to start your own research on them at Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page.

Intel is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. China Green Agriculture is a Motley Fool Global Gains pick. The Fool owns shares of and has written puts on Intel. Motley Fool Options has recommended buying calls on Intel. The Fool owns shares of China Green Agriculture. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings here. You can shake, rattle, and roll The Motley Fool's disclosure policy, but it still won't break.