BOSTON (TheStreet) -- Stocks under $5, such as TeamStaff (TSTF) and Majesco Entertainment (COOL), have more than doubled already this year even as most small-cap stocks have been brutalized by economic weakness and global debt woes.
Small-cap stocks have been the big winners during the two-year bull market that followed one of the worst worldwide recessions. Money managers argue that now is a time for investors to get defensive and move into less-risky asset classes like large-cap equities. On the other end of the capitalization spectrum, some small-cap stocks have seen outsized gains even as most have underperformed.
The Russell 2000 index -- a benchmark for small-cap stock performance -- is down 7.5% this year, worse than the 1% decline on the Dow Jones Industrial Average and 4.2% slide on the S&P 500 index. During times of economic weakness, small-cap stocks usually suffer sharper declines than their large-cap counterparts. With U.S. economic growth at a miniscule 0.4% in the first quarter and 1% in the second quarter, the Russell 2000's underperformance this year is not out of the ordinary.Still, many inexpensive stocks have generated huge returns for lucky stock pickers, even as other low-priced shares like PMI Group (PMI) and Motricity (MOTR) plunged more than 60% in August alone. The following pages detail the best-performing stocks under $5 this year on the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and NYSE Amex, ranked by total return through the first eight months of 2011.
10. Sify Technologies (SIFY) Company Profile: Based in India, Sify Technologies is an Internet service provider. Shares of Sify Technologies spiked higher in April to a high of $8.54 as a high-growth play for investors looking for exposure to India. The company this year has announced partnerships and plans for expansion, and the stock has rallied like fellow India Internet company Rediff.com (REDF). Both Sify and Rediff.com have fallen steadily since the beginning of May along with the broader market. Current Share Price: $4.48 (Aug. 30) 2011 Total Return: 98% Analyst Ratings: No research analyst has coverage of Sify. TheStreet Ratings also does not have research on Sify.
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