Chasing highfliers is a sucker's game. But tracking monthly trends across the market can lead to great investment ideas, as well as shed new light on stocks you already have in your portfolio.

Let's take a look at the biggest movers in the small caps. These stocks -- which include companies from the consumer discretionary, energy, financials, materials, and telecommunication sectors -- have clocked some of the biggest gains during the last month.

Small cap market movers

Company

Industry

CAPS Rating

30-Day Return

Market Cap

Pacific Ethanol (NASDAQ:PEIX)

Oil, Gas, and Consumable Fuels

*

130.06%

107.78M

Energy XXI (NASDAQ:EXXI)

Oil, Gas, and Consumable Fuels

****

94.71%

538.98M

North American Palladium (NYSE:PAL)

Metals and Mining

****

59.71%

397.3 M

Atlas Pipeline Holdings (NYSE:AHD)

Oil, Gas, and Consumable Fuels

***

85.87%

177.5 M

Anooraq Resources (NYSE:ANO)

Metals and Mining

****

76.54%

290.49M

Those returns are certainly eye catching. But do these high fliers have staying power?

Let's see what The Motley Fool CAPS community (more than 140,000 investors strong) has to say about the best plays in the small cap market.

And the next big winners are ...
The following small cap stocks are of similar size in comparable industries to the ones in the previous chart. However, these are companies that CAPS members think have more promising future returns than the ones already making waves.

 CAPS community small cap favorites

Company

Industry

CAPS Rating

Market Cap

Price / Earnings

Fools Saying Outperform

North European Oil Royalty (NYSE:NRT) (Alternative for PEIX and AHD)

Oil, Gas, and Consumable Fuels

*****

302.28M

10.91

80 of 83

Peyto Energy Trust Unit (Other OTC: PEYUF.PK) (Alternative for EXXI)

Oil, Gas, and Consumable Fuels

*****

1.97B

NA

29 of 30

Mesabi Trust (NASDAQ:MSB) (Alternative for PAL and ANO)

Metals and Mining

*****

180.92M

NA

182 of 190

Of course, some of today's winners might continue to rack up outsize returns. But isn't it better to snag tomorrow's winners before they start running up?

Find out if your hot stocks still have sizzle
How do your stocks compare to the CAPS community's best investment ideas? Find out in an instant by plugging your tickers into the completely free Motley Fool Stocks 360 program. You'll also get a thorough analysis of how your investments are faring against multiple peer benchmarks. Find out whether you should trade in, trade up, or sit tight by getting a quick 360-degree diagnostic right now.

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