Metal mining giant Alcoa announces earnings today, a release that marks the start of earnings season. And while Alcoa's far from a penny stock with a $17 billion market capitalization, the fact is that the tone this company sets will have a supreme effect on all of the issues we're watching in the small-cap world. With shares up nearly 2% as of the market's open this morning - a relatively big gap-up in the blue chip world - things bode well for us to play the breakout stocks.

A breakout is one of the most powerful technical patterns - it tells technical analysts that shares should be headed up significantly higher in the short term. Breakouts occur when a stock crosses a key resistance level, like a moving average or previous 52-week high. What better type of pattern to play in this week's watchlist?

Each week, we take a look at a list of penny stocks that are exhibiting abnormal volume, strong technicals, upcoming news, or another catalyst that suggested they might be making a material move in the coming week.

As usual, while our Watchlist errs on the safe side of small-caps, using technical analysis to tell us where a stock is headed, we opened the comments up to readers again this week, giving you the chance to offer up more speculative penny stock plays.

Check out the comments after this article to get a glimpse at a slew of new user-submitter penny stock picks - and the chance to submit your own!

First, though, let's take a look at this week's breakout penny stocks worth watching...

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Map Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: MAPP) -- Shares of this small-cap therapeutic developer are catching fire after the FDA announced that it was waiving MAPP's requirement to have a second trial for its in-development migraine drug. Getting a drug fast-tracked is always a good sign for any drug maker, and investors know it, pushing shares well above the resistance level of an ascending triangle that was forming. Pick up shares if you want to ride the speculative push.

Tuesday Morning Corporation (NASDAQ: TUES) -- While it may only be Monday morning, we're taking a look at Tuesday Morning Corporation following solid second quarter sales numbers and guidance well above analyst estimates. The good performance for the discount retailer has pushed shares up double-digits today, and we'll be happy to ride the coattails of investor exuberance for some tidy gains.

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Misonix (NASDAQ: MSON) -- Medical device manufacturer Misonix is having a solid day today as well, albeit less dramatically. The stock broke out two trading sessions ago, sending technical traders the buy signal back on Friday. But the signal remains strong as long as the company remains above the horizontal black line, so we'll add it to the watchlist today.

Winthrop Realty Trust (NYSE: FUR) -- This REIT, which owns real-estate in Boston and New York City, has been on an absolute tear after technical traders started to pick up on it back in late December. And with shares currently trading at a 52-week high, there's little indication of a slowdown right now. Famed fund manager Bruce Berkowitz talked up the stock last week, sending shares on yet another mini-breakout, and giving us plenty of reason to go long the stock today.