Are Penny Stocks Worth a Look?

Penny stocks--those that sell for under $5 over-the-counter--are the slot machines of the equity market. Care to risk a couple of quarters? It's tempting, with the established exchanges now brimming with household names like Corning in the penny-stock range. The fiber-optic-equipment maker was once a $100 stock. Now it trades near a buck fifty. Wireless-phone company Sprint is at $9.25; computer retailer Gateway, $3.58; Sun Microsystems, $3.66. How can you lose? But as anyone who has been cleaned out by a 25[cents] slot can tell you, this is risky territory.

The trick is to separate the fallen angels from the real...

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