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Here is a follow up to the article I wrote on the January Effect in small caps. It found the effect especially pronounced following a terrible year in stocks. The bottom quartile of stocks returned roughly 18% in the January following the worst 10 years for the S&P since 1927, with no down years.

The easiest method to take advantage of this effect is to go long a microcap ETF (IWC, PZI), or for the more risk averse, go long a microcap ETF and short a large cap ETF (VTI, SPY).

Other research shops (Ned Davis being one) have found that the effect is even more pronounced for small caps that are down the most from their highs, and that the returns begin about now (mid-December).

Investors looking for more juice and risk could screen for a list of microcaps down the most this year, and go long outright or with a hedge. The charts of the stocks are nasty, most trade for around $1, and many have terrible fundamentals and are probably going out of business. What's not to like? I have not done any research on these tickers so buyer beware.

Here are a few screens below. If any users have a screen they want me to run, leave a comment and I'll add it:

In the Russell 3000
Market Cap <$150 million and > $30 million
Ranked by how far they are down:

Smurfit-Stone Container (NYSE:SSCC)
Apex Silver Mines (NYSEARCA:SIL)
Avis Budget Group (NASDAQ:CAR)
Spansion (SPSN)
Sunrise Senior Living (SRZ)
Borders Group (BGP)
Anooraq Resources (ANO)

In the Russell 3000
Market Cap <$150 million and > $30 million
Down at least 80% from the 52-week high
Ranked by how many insider buys there have been in past 6 months:

Ampal American Israel (NASDAQ:AMPL)
Cumulus Media (NASDAQ:CMLS)
Primus Guaranty (PRS)
Entercom Communications (NYSE:ETM)
Chelsea Therapeutics Int (NASDAQ:CHTP)
SiRF Technology (SIRF)
Ram Energy Resources (RAME)
Sonic Solutions (SNIC)
Trico Marine Services (TRMA)