Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

What: Shares of Star Scientific (Nasdaq: CIGX) rose more than 14% in early trading and remain up more than 10% as of this writing. Why? Volatility.

So what: The high-tech tobacconist saw its shares fall 19% in yesterday's sell-off. So while today's rally is nice, it has yet to make up for the beat-down Mr. Market delivered. Welcome to the world of high-beta stocks.

Now what: Investing in high-beta stocks brings high highs and low lows, and rarely much in between. Winning with them can be a matter of timing, though Star Scientific has provided generous returns to long-term holders. (The stock is up five times since late 2009.)

Most of the gain is because of the story. Star's CigRX dietary supplements propose to reduce or even eliminate cigarette cravings. Revenue has been hard to come by and profits equally elusive, but some maintain Star's litigation with the RJ Reynolds tobacco company could yield a payday well above its $635 million market value.

Interested in more info on Star Scientific? Add it to your watchlist.

Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Check out his portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Twitter as @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.

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