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In addition to following these professional banks, anyone can use Motley Fool CAPS to monitor the collective opinions of more than 115,000 members, many of whom demonstrate better investing insight than published analysts do.

Enough top-performing CAPS investors have turned bullish on art auctioneer Sotheby's (NYSE:BID) recently to upgrade it from its four-star rank to a more formidable five stars. A total of 604 investors have given their opinion on Sotheby's, with many of them offering analysis and commentary explaining the recent optimism.

By staying in the high end of the market -- auction peer Christie's recently sold a Monet painting for $80 million -- Sotheby's has elite clientele who haven't stopped spending during the economic downturn. While many mainstream companies like Ford (NYSE:F) and Sears (NASDAQ:SHLD) are struggling at the low end of retail, luxury names like Tiffany (NYSE:TIF) and Wynn Resorts (NYSE:WYNN) continue to perform relatively well compared to peers.

Sotheby's also has an edge over online auctioneer eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) in letting its customers inspect their potential high-dollar purchases before buying. And like performance sports apparel maker Under Armour (NYSE:UA), Sotheby's has a very recognizable brand for its small size, and like UA has the capability to extend its brand into new segments

Sotheby's second-quarter profits recently came in at $95.3 million, and some investors were disappointed that this was down from the same period last year. But much of the shortfall came from shifting some London art sales from the second to the third quarter, which management expects to be much stronger than last year. With a solid brand that has generated around 24% five-year annualized returns, many investors think Sotheby's is the next big thing. More than 95% of the 604 CAPS members rating Sotheby's feel that way and expect it to outperform the market.

To see what the very best CAPS analysts are saying now about Sotheby's -- as well as other winning stocks they are picking -- head over to CAPS and have a look. Don't forget to join the community and let us know what you think.

More Foolishness:

The Motley Fool Hidden Gems service looks for companies like Sotheby's with exceptional management, brand, and growth prospects. Check out what other gems lead analysts Tom Gardner and Bill Mann are recommending today with a free 30-day trial to the service.

Fool contributor Dave Mock recently upgraded his wine collection with a bottle of two-buck Chuck. He owns no shares of companies mentioned here and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. Under Armour and Sotheby's are Hidden Gems picks. Under Armour is also a Rule Breakers selection. Sears Holdings is an Inside Value recommendation. eBay is a Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of Under Armour. The Fool's disclosure policy gets gold stars daily.