BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Three down, one to go for 2012. The end of the third quarter may have come and gone rather unceremoniously, but it means something important for investors: earnings season is right around the corner. Officially, corporate earnings kick off a week from tomorrow with Alcoa's (AA) third-quarter numbers.
That spurt of fundamental data is a big deal for stocks. Generally, investors get just four big data points per year, one every quarter. So it's no big surprise that stock prices can react in a big way to earnings surprises, be they positive or negative.
>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar Fundamentally, there are still a lot of bargain stocks out there. The average P/E ratio for the S&P 500 is still holding lower than it's been anytime since 1990, and a number of dividend metrics offer equity buyers similar stats right now. More positive data over the course of earnings season could be just the spark stocks need to keep the rally going into the end of the year. That's why we're looking at a brand new set of Rocket Stocks 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.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV