The final leg in what could be a new market high has been paved with junk.
Leading the 2013 charge has been an array of what usually is considered the lowest-quality and riskiest assets available - stocks with the highest percentage of short interest and companies that don't pay dividends.
It's all part of the dash-for-trash trend that has seen investors forsake the safety of large-cap dividend payers with solid balance sheets and earnings outlooks and look simply for companies whose shares have been taken down and present value opportunities. (Read More: Why Companies Have Gone Sour on Stock Market)
"When the markets tend to be expanding like they have so far it's the value stocks that generally lead the way out," said Tim Courtney, chief investment officer at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Oklahoma City. "The value stocks are going to have some warts, they're going to have some problems, they're going to have high short interest in many cases."
Bespoke Investment Group runs an analysis of stock performance by breaking the market into 10 different characteristics and found that in January, when the S&P 500 gained more than 5.5 percent, it was not the index's top quality companies that led the way.