Hey there, Fools. I've summoned our Motley Fool CAPS community once again to highlight a few of Wednesday's biggest winners among the stocks with a top rating of five stars:


Yesterday's % Gain

Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE:JLL)




Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX)


National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV)




There's a reason why I selected notable five-star gainers, as opposed to other big-name winners making noise on Wednesday, like low-rated DryShips (NASDAQ:DRYS). Stocks go up all the time, but unless you were able to predict the pop, what does it matter?  

Our community of more than 125,000 CAPS Fools considers its five-star stocks the most likely to outperform the market.

Written in the (five) stars?
For example, 97% of the 894 members who've rated Motley Fool Hidden Gems pick Jones Lang LaSalle have a bullish opinion of the stock. In November , one of those Fools, ChazzReinhold, explained why the global real-estate services provider looked ripe for a rebound:

Growth growth growth ... oh, forgot to mention the ridiculously cheap price, numerous acquisitions and leading service quality. This baby will start to drive up after 3q of 09', just a guess but commercial real estate is not evaporating from the world forever.

Consistent with that call, shares of Jones Lang LaSalle surged yesterday, after its fourth-quarter revenue fell less than analysts had feared. Several of its core segments managed to show signs of growth despite the challenging environment.

The bullish lesson?
Whenever the shares of a company you like take a tumble, always try to figure out why. If the reasons for the drop, in your own opinion, are just short-term in nature, you might have found a good opportunity to buy quality on the cheap. As Warren Buffett once remarked, "Only for short-term investors and market timers is a correction not an opportunity."

And now for the losers ...
Of course, winning isn't everything in the stock market. Here are five of Wednesday's biggest one-star decliners:  


Yesterday's % Loss

Huntington Bancshares


The Talbots (NYSE:TLB)


Raser Technologies


Standard Register




While yesterday's drop in highly rated Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) may have caught our community off-guard, one-star stocks are fully expected to fall hard.

Did CAPS call the fall?
In June, for instance, CAPS All-Star TMFIphone told a bearish tale of Talbots:

Clothing just doesn't appeal to target audience anymore-I've talked to my mom and her friends and they refuse to pay full price for Talbots clothing while years ago, they would spend the extra money to get an outfit that caught their eye there. This is the turnaround that will never be and investors are just pushing the stock higher on no fundamental reasoning.

Not surprisingly, shares of the women's clothing chain are down a depressing 80% since that call.

The bearish takeaway?
If you plan to play the turnaround game, it's often better to wait until the business shows evidence of turning around before you decide to jump in. Trying to catch a falling knife can certainly be profitable, but you always run a high risk of grabbing it at the sharpest place. As Peter Lynch once wrote, it's better to "wait until the knife hits the ground and sticks, then vibrates for a while and settles down before you try to grab it."

The final Foolish move
Investors often focus strictly on stock price movements, without realizing that developing a proper stock-picking process counts most.

Over at Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are Foolishly sharing insightful investment tips to help, above all else, identify tomorrow's big movers. Over time, consistently reverse-engineering winning -- and losing -- stocks will help you become a more Foolish investor.

Log in to CAPS today and start participating. It's absolutely free -- and a lot of fun!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Jones Lang Lasalle is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems recommendation. GigaMedia is a Global Gains and Rule Breakers selection. National Oilwell Varco and Disney are choices of  Stock Advisor. Disney is also an Inside Value pick. The Fool's disclosure policy is always the big winner.