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A number of this year's hot penny stocks have soared by double digits since the New Year.
Their meteoric moves have far outpaced the lukewarm (if any) gains of major benchmarks and their components. The Dow is down roughly 4% and the S&P is off nearly 3% year to date, after gains of 26% and 32% respectively in 2013. The Nasdaq was up 1% until Friday's broad-based selloff left the tech-heavy index down an equal amount for the year.
Penny stocks caught our eye this year when a number of tiny biotech companies surged on promising new treatments.
Chelsea Therapeutics International Ltd. (Nasdaq: CHTP) shares soared 91.7% to $5.78 mid-month when its drug Northera, used to treat low blood pressure in patients with neurological diseases such as Parkinson's, got a near-unanimous thumbs-up from a U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel.
And Mast Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MSTX) jumped 60% to $0.85 in a three-day rally last week after Chief Executive Officer Brian M. Cully's presentation at the OneMedForum Emerging Company Finance Conference. This small and obscure company is developing an agent that has the potential to reduce ischemic tissue injury and organ damage.
But it's not just low-priced biotech stocks that have climbed.
While the Dow closed out its worst week in a year and a half, plenty of penny stocks logged their best week ever - proof that bigger isn't always better.
Following are 10 of this week's hottest penny stocks. Some soared on company developments or industry-related news. Others rode higher on the heels of positive peer performance.