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Why these 5 ASX stocks smashed the market today

While yesterday’s ‘Relief Rally’ abated somewhat and the S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) closed up just 0.48% today, these five stocks were on a tear.

Here’s why they beat the market…

Liquefied Natural Gas Ltd (ASX: LNG) rose 12% today on the back a 10% lift in the value of crude oil overnight. Brent Crude, which now changes hands for US$42 per barrel, is still down 55% for the year and I think investors can expect the volatility to continue as there has been no major change to the supply and demand tensions that drive prices.

Given that LNG is a favourite of speculators and short-term traders, I wouldn’t be surprised to find myself penning a why LNG is down 10% article in future weeks.

Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) has also been a volatile stock, reporting plenty of peaks and troughs in the past 12 months as investors swing – first this way, then that – on its value and potential. While nickel isn’t as volatile as say, gold or oil, it is still vulnerable to shifts in commodity prices and again I think investors can expect price swings like today’s 11.9% rise to continue.

Fortunately management seems to have the right idea and has been carefully balancing rewards for shareholders against the company’s performance, which was solid in 2015.

ALS Ltd (ASX: ALQ) was something of a mystery performer today, rising 9.76% on no news. Surprisingly volume was also normal, which to my mind indicates greedy buyers. Investors may have been buoyed by the news that Southeastern Asset Management announced yesterday that it has taken a 5% stake in the company in recent days.

However, with ALS management forecasting another decline in first-half profit in 2016, I think it would be a brave investor who buys into the rising prices.

Hansen Technologies Limited (ASX: HSN) is one company I’m not surprised to see rise 7.58% today after it announced an expectation-crushing (in a good way!) report to the market yesterday. Today’s performance takes Hansen’s rise to 14% in the past two days, albeit a rise of only 3% for the week.

With a revenue increase of 27% forecast for 2016, zero debt and smart management, Hansen shareholders could be set for further success in the near future.

1-Page Ltd (ASX: 1PG) continues to trounce the market, rising 6.7% today, 22% this week, and a staggering 1,244% this year. It’s the kind of investment that makes investors wish they’d put $500 into it 12 months ago, but I have to say it looks to have moved beyond all rationality and sense this week.

While shareholders may have enjoyed the rise, it’s built on hope and dreams thus far and I’m expecting several more dips that interested buyers may be able to take advantage of in the future.

'Hope' is not an investing strategy!

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Motley Fool contributor Sean O'Neill has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of Hansen Technologies. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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