BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Last week was a "consolidation" week for stocks; that's a nice way of saying that performance stank in the S&P 500 over the past five trading sessions.
All told, the S&P gave back 1.01% between Monday's open and Friday's close, a pretty hefty single-week dip considering the extremely low-volatility rally that's been in force since all the way back in November. But let's put things in perspective for a moment: That sort of a price move would have just been regular trading noise this time last year when the VIX Volatility Index was sitting almost twice as high as it is now.
Investors continue to look for signs of a top in stocks. With new highs just a stone's throw away (and at a price level that failed the last two times it was touched), investors are searching out any excuse to sell. But from a technical and fundamental standpoint, the S&P 500 doesn't look overbought -- it still looks exceptionally bullish.So, to take full advantage of any upside in the week ahead, we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stock names. 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 194 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 73.7%. >>Trade These 5 Huge Stocks for Gains Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.