"Don't catch a falling knife." Thus commandeth the old saw (to mix a cutlery metaphor).

But if people weren't tempted to catch cutlery in the first place, there'd be no need for this little bit of investing wisdom, would there? The idea of buying a former highflier at a discount price certainly has its attractions. The trick, of course, is to increase the odds that when you make your grab, you're catching haft, not blade. That's where we come in.

In The Motley Fool's continuing effort to keep your investing dollars safe, today we once again assume our position beneath Mr. Market's silverware drawer. As the knives plummet, we'll measure who's fallen farthest. Then we'll head over to Motley Fool CAPS, and ask which of these stocks Foolish investors think are ready to rebound to new highs -- if any.

With that said, let's meet today's list of contenders, drawn from the latest "52-Week Lows" list at Nasdaq.com:

52-Week High

Currently Fetching

CAPS Rating (Out of 5)





Lowe's (NYSE:LOW)




Home Depot (NYSE:HD)




Alcatel-Lucent  (NYSE:ALU)












J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP)




Companies are selected from the "NASDAQ 52-Week Low" list published on Nasdaq.com on the Saturday following close of trading last week. 52-week high and current pricing (11/10/07) provided by Yahoo! Finance. CAPS ratings from Motley Fool CAPS.

If there's one good thing about a broad-based market sell-off, it's that you find a lot of terrific companies getting the ol' baby 'n' bathwater treatment. Tossed out on their rosy little bums as if they were bums of another sort. You know -- just know -- that some of these babies are gonna bounce right back once the suds subside.

How long will it take? No one knows. But as we're already several percent into the latest market downturn, it can't hurt to start sifting through the wreckage. Maybe we'll find something worth buying today -- maybe just a few ideas we can revisit if the stocks get cheaper still. Either way, today's choice is made easy by the fact that one company -- nuptial facilitator The Knot -- gets more stars than any of its companions on today's list.

Ladies and gentle-Fools, we have a winner. Now let's find out why, as we examine ...

The bull case for The Knot
With 600 ratings to its name, The Knot wins the support of 95% of the investors who've looked at it. More than 100 of these Fools have chimed in with substantive "pitches" on why they think it is (or isn't) likely to outperform the market. Here are a few culled from the ranks of our very best investors, the CAPS All-Stars.

Hibachi0 introduces us to the company:

The Knot operates in a very reliable market, weddings. They have message boards, ads, and merchandise on their site to help brides-to-be. Local wedding vendors list on TheKnot.com to attract local wedding couples. Like eBay, The Knot has a big moat that should keep it the leader in its area. As the number one site, the most wedding vendors list on The Knot, attracting more couples, attracting more vendors, attracting [more] couples, and so on. It is a little richly valued at 33x 2008 earnings, but at its 52 week low and an uncertainty that it will get any cheaper, now seems like a good time to get in.

Actually, it has gotten a little cheaper since Hibachi0 wrote this. The Knot now sells for 21 times trailing earnings, 28 times its projected 2008 take.

But wait. Aren't companies (at least, the good ones) supposed to earn more money with each passing year? SarahGen explained last August:

The comps are messed up because of acquisitions. But they dominate their space. Brides (and relatives) spend hours and hours and hours on that site. That's fantastic for advertisers (niche and otherwise). Gotta love a monopoly, and the next quarters are going to start looking better.

And how can I resist closing with a few words from a shameless punster? FoolishMage wrote in May 2006:

Look, I'm KNOT going to try and predict the future here. ... The KNOT's ability to execute in the online wedding business is great. ... [it's] not all for KNOT. 5 year gross margin is practically double the S+P 500. And contrary to popular belief, the institution of marriage is not going away. Its just going to get a lot more expensive.

Speaking of expensive, just how pricey is The Knot itself? As I mentioned above, the stock currently sells for 21 times trailing earnings; with cash profits matching up nicely with net earnings, its trailing price-to-free cash flow number is also 21. Meanwhile, analysts on average expect this company to grow its profits at 35% per year for the next half decade. Sounds cheap to me.

Time to chime in
Of course, the aim of this column isn't just to tell you what I think about The Knot -- or even what the other CAPS players are saying. We also want to hear your thoughts. Click on over to Motley Fool CAPS, and tell us what you think.

The Knot is a recommendation at Motley Fool Rule Breakers, and Home Depot is a pick in Inside Value.

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 No. 1,163 out of more than 73,000 players. The Fool has a disclosure policy.