BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- After last week's impressive 2.17% run in the S&P 500, it looks like the big index is going to take a hard-earned breather today. That price action last week brought the S&P to within 0.9% of all-time highs, and that means that pushing through to a new high water mark is within reach for the S&P this week.
No matter how you slice it, highs matter. In a nutshell, all-time highs in broad indexes mean that everyone who's bought and held a diversified portfolio of stocks is sitting on gains this month, a phenomenon that does wonders for investor sentiment.
Year-to-date, the S&P 500 is up 8.76% this morning, giving us an auspicious start to the month of March. If headline fundamentals like payroll numbers and housing can keep up their pace of improvements, Mr. Market should have little trouble keeping up that pace.That's why we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stock names. >>5 Stocks Ready to Break Out 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. In the last 190 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 76.88%. Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks. >>5 Favorite Stocks From the Pros