BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) --Whew, what a week.
Last week brought a 2.29% gain to the S&P 500, pushing the big index to new all-time highs on Thursday before a modest 0.28% correction calmed the animal spirits on Friday. That rally pushes the S&P's year-to-date gains up to 11.4% -- a significant return just a quarter and change into the new year.
But the 2.29% bump in the S&P doesn't really tell the whole picture of gains from last week. While the big index moved a couple hundred basis points, a large number of individual stocks posted much bigger moves for the week. Last week's Rocket Stocks list, for instance, saw an average move of 5.13% from Monday's open through Friday's close.To take full advantage of this week's upside, we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stock names. >>5 Dividend Stocks Ready to Pay You More 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 195 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 76.5%. Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks. >>5 Must-See Charts to Trade in April IBM As a prototypical blue-chip stock, it's not a huge surprise that IBM (IBM - Get Report) has been keeping pace with the S&P so far this year. IBM is one of the biggest IT firms on earth, offering clients everything from high-end computer hardware to software and services. And as enterprise IT spending continues to enjoy some economic tailwinds, IBM's upward trajectory should continue. IBM has made a stock and trade from being first to the punch. Most recently, that's been evident from the firm's exit from the consumer PC business back in 2005. Many of the firm's former PC-maker peers are only now starting to look at the enterprise market after their bread and butter became increasingly commoditized. IBM's prescience should continue to benefit the firm in a big way.