BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Earnings season officially kicks off today, and Wall Street is anxious about it.
The earnings announcements for the second quarter of 2012 start with Alcoa's (AA) earnings call after the closing bell today, ushering in a truckload of fundamental data for investors who've been waiting to see what kind of financial performance companies are turning out in this environment. At this point, analysts aren't expecting much.
In the last couple of months, analyst revenue growth estimates for the second quarter have swung from positive to negative, providing expectations that are actually a good thing for the market right now. With so much negative sentiment among analysts, firms should be able to handily beat estimates with only perfunctory performance. In the last year, corporate earnings consistently beat analysts' estimates, but this quarter, with sentiment skewed bearish, positive earnings surprise could spur a meaningful rally this summer.That's why we're taking a look at a new set of Rocket Stock names for this week. For the uninitiated, "Rocket Stocks" are our list of companies with short-term gain catalysts and longer-term growth potential. To find them, I run a weekly quantitative screen that seeks out stocks with a combination of analyst upgrades and positive earnings surprises to identify rising analyst expectations, a bullish signal for stocks in any market. After all, where analysts' expectations are increasing, institutional cash often follows. >>ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Check out Stockpickr's special offer for Real Money, headlined by Jim Cramer, now! In the last 158 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 81.44%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
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