With the S&P 500 down more than 20% since the start of 2008, it's been a rough year for all of us in the stock market. With so many stocks off their highs -- some deservedly, some indiscriminately -- the important question becomes "How can we separate disastrous companies like Washington Mutual (NYSE:WM) and Wachovia (NYSE:WB) from the very real opportunities that are out there right now?"

A great place to start looking is a pool of the favorite stocks of our 115,000 person-strong Motley Fool CAPS investment community. These stocks have the most bullish support, weighted by each player's ability.

With that approach in mind, I used our new CAPS screening tool to pick out some of the CAPS community's most beloved stocks currently trading at a discount. Let's look at five companies that have fallen 30% or more over the past year.

They also have:

  • Market caps greater than $2 billion.
  • Five-star ratings, the highest possible, from our CAPS community.

Since we began tracking the collective intelligence of our CAPS investment community in November 2006, five-star companies have outperformed the market, with an average annualized gain of more than 12%

Company

52-Week Return

Price-to-Earnings

Sector

Market Cap (in billions)

American Eagle (NYSE:AEO)

(44%)

9.3

Consumer Goods

$2.9

America Movil (NYSE:AMX)

(34%)

14.6

Telecommunications

$48.9

Foster Wheeler (NASDAQ:FWLT)

(55%)

9.7

Industrial Goods

$4.6

Infosys (NASDAQ:INFY)

(44%)

NA

Technology

$16.8

National-Oilwell Valco (NYSE:NOV)

(41%)

11.3

Basic Materials

$20.0

Data from Motley Fool CAPS and Yahoo! Finance as of Sept. 29.

Of course, screens are merely a first step in the stock-selection process. Come and join us on Motley Fool CAPS to dig into these companies further. Let our 115,000-strong (and counting) CAPS community help you identify the best opportunities today.

On Oct. 7, 2008, Fool Co-Founder David Gardner and his Motley Fool Pro team will invest $1 million in a portfolio designed to help you make money in any market. In the coming weeks, the team, relying heavily on proprietary CAPS "community intelligence" data, will establish long and short positions in a broad range of securities, including common stocks, publicly traded put and call options, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). To learn more about Motley Fool Pro and to receive a private invitation to join, simply enter your email address in the box below.

Ilan Moscovitz doesn't own any of the companies mentioned in this article. America Movil is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. American Eagle is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. The Fool owns shares of American Eagle. The Fool's disclosure policy is awesome.