The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.By David Sterman NEW YORK ( StreetAuthority) -- It's no secret that small-cap and micro-cap stocks really take it on the chin when investors grow skittish. A 5% or 10% drop in the broader market can lead to even deeper hits for these riskier stocks. The converse is also true: When the market is in rebound mode, these oversold stocks can post some of the most impressive rallies. At this point, investors in a buying mood are faced with two choices: They can either focus on lower-risk blue chips that appear inexpensively valued and possess respectable upside. Or they can focus on riskier, beaten-down stocks that could rise much more sharply in an improving economy. I've spent a considerable amount of time the last few months focusing on blue-chip bargains. Here's a look at the other end of the spectrum -- five stocks under $5 that could rise sharply in the next few years, granted the global economy dodges a bullet with the current crises.