When a stock hits a fresh low, that can be a signal that it's a dirt cheap dream stock -- or that it’s a dreadful stock to avoid. Separating the wheat from the chaff is difficult, but finding well-run companies at bargain-basement prices is a great way to accumulate a fortune over the long run.

With that in mind, we'll use the aggregate intelligence of the 110,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS to see what the community is saying about stocks hitting 52-week lows today. The community's approval (indicated by four- and five-star ratings) could be a sign that further research is in order.

Here are three such stocks:


Today’s Low


CAPS Rating (out of 5)

Fools Saying Outperform


NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX)


Financial services


2,146 of 2,217


Valero Energy Corp (NYSE:VLO)




3,625 of 3,787


Lloyds TSB Group plc (ADR) (NYSE:LYG)




523 of 548


Source: Motley Fool CAPS, as of July 8, 2008.

Other Five-Star Financial Services Companies
Permian Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE:PBT): Up 91.1% in past year.
Provident Energy Trust (NYSE:PVX): Stock price is 13.4% cheaper than last year.

Other Five-Star Energy Companies
ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP): Up 13.8% in the last year.
BP plc (NYSE:BP): Stock price is 9.6% cheaper than last year.

Come and join us on CAPS to learn more about these and countless other interesting stock ideas. Click here to sign up.