Ahhh, that new-stock smell.

Five companies are expected to price their IPOs this week. If the deals successfully hit the exchanges, this would be the IPO market's biggest week in nearly two years.

The new offerings are a motley crew:

  • Shanda Games: Shanda Interactive's (NASDAQ:SNDA) online gaming spinoff.
  • A123 Systems: Manufacturer of batteries for electric cars.
  • Artio Global Investors: An asset manager.
  • Vitacost.com: Online retailer of vitamins and beauty products.
  • Select Medical Holdings: A hospital operator.

Shanda Games may seem like an unlikely offering, since it represents the bread and butter of its parent company. Still, fellow Chinese specialists Changyou.com (NASDAQ:CYOU) and CDC Software (NASDAQ:CDCS) have been similarly well-received spinoffs this year.

A123's high-power lithium-ion batteries promise "a new era of sustainable transportation." With General Motors generating buzz for its upcoming Chevy Volt, A123's timing couldn't be better.

Artio Global is a stateside subsidiary of Swiss-based Julius Baer Group. After months of rallying markets, an asset manager going public isn't a shock.

Shares of Drugstore.com (NASDAQ:DSCM) have more than quadrupled since March, so it's easy to see the somewhat similar Vitacost want in on the attention.

Select Medical operated 92 specialty hospitals and 948 outpatient rehabilitation centers. A health-care giant going public during the Obamacare whirlwind? That's a gutsy move.

The most encouraging thing that can be said for these five companies, without digging deeper into their valuations (until after the IPOs are priced), is that the market is hungry for new issues.

Lihua International (NASDAQ:LIWA) priced its IPO at $4 earlier this month. The Chinese maker of copper replacement products is trading 73% higher. Some of this year's other IPOs now trading sharply higher than their offering price include OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN), Changyou, and Bridgepoint Education (NYSE:BPI).

So bring on the debutantes. The worthy ones will be rewarded.

Shanda and OpenTable are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a fan of new stocks, and has even recommended several fresh IPOs to newsletter readers in the past. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.