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Hot Stocks to Watch Today

There were several hot stocks to watch today as all three indexes remained on the upswing hours into trading.

Retail sales dominated headlines Wednesday, with Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT), Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF), and TJX Co. (NYSE: TJX) all up in morning trading on better than expected earnings and/or guidance. After the close, investors hear from Baidu Inc. (Nasdaq ADR: BIDU) and J.C. Penney Co. Inc. (NYSE: JCP).

But there were plenty of other stocks across all sectors moving higher. Here are 11 of Wednesday's biggest movers – many of which are among the hottest stocks to watch this year. 

Hot Stocks to Watch Today

The following stock prices are as of midday Wednesday:

Anika Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: ANKA) surged more than 50% to a fresh 52-week high of $51.95 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the company's osteoarthritis treatment. Monovisc, a single-injection supplement to synovial fluid of the osteopathic joint, is used to treat and improve joint mobility in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee. Commercial introduction of the treatment is expected to begin in March.

ChinaNet Online Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: CNET) more than doubled, soaring 135% to a 52-week high of $2.75, after announcing it has been co-nominated as a candidate for the "2013 Preferred Service Provider for China Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" award. CNET is a leading B2B Internet technology company based in Beijing.

Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB) continues to be a stock to watch, as shares climbed roughly 2% to $71.22, just short of the all-time high of $71.44 hit earlier this week. The reason: a strong upgrade. Cowen and Company increased its price target on the stock by $5 to $85. With the average 12-month analyst price target at $70.42, a discount to FB's high of $71.44, more upgrades are expected. Year over year, FB shares have risen an astounding 157%.

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