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Top Rocket Stocks for the Week of Oct. 1

This weekly Rocket Stocks column and portfolio is meant to generate ideas for momentum traders looking to profit from short-term market catalysts and exploit stock-specific news.

As the third quarter ended last week, portfolio managers marked up their assets to increase performance; as a result, stock names such as Apple (AAPL), Research In Motion (RIMM) and others had big moves. However, statistically speaking, buying into that rally has been a losing proposition.

Thus, I positioned this week's Rocket Stocks portfolio to be as market-independent as possible. As I always say, of the roughly 8,000 public companies, at least 1,000 to 2,000 stocks will go up. It's our job to find those stocks.

But before I make any recommendations, let's take a quick look at how last week's picks panned out. (And you must check out The Good Life Blog Watch and learn how to spot a fake Rolex, find the ideal vending machines, and more.)

  • EMC (EMC), as I said in my midweek update, I would have sold for a 4% gain Tuesday.
  • Circuit City (CC), ended the week down 8.8%.
  • Optium (OPTM), up as much as 8.5%, and ended the week up 5.5%.
  • E*Trade (ETFC), ended the week down 3.3%.
  • Downey Financial (DSL), down 4.8% for the week.
  • Yamana Gold (AUY), down 6% for the week.
  • NYSE Euronext (NYX), a midweek sell when up some 4%.
  • Apple (AAPL), a midweek sell when up 2%; however, the stock ended the week up 4.6%.
  • Urologix (ULGX), up as much as 4.7% but ended the week down 3.6%.
  • Cabot (CBT) ended the week down 10%.
  • Cree (CREE) (a midweek addition), up as much as 11% but ended the week up only 2.6%.
  • ValueClick (VCLK)(a midweek addition), up as much as 9.5% but ended the week down 3%.

Now let's take a look at the Rocket Stocks for the Week of October 1st-4th.

One thing most readers on this site know is that I love stocks with massive share-buyback plans. Such plans generally help decrease the float of shares, increase earnings and, most importantly, it's great to know that the company is buying shares along with you. This leads me to my first pick, Valero Energy (VLO).

Valero is an oil refiner with a $5 billion share-buyback plan, one of the largest in the market. However, Valero has been stalled in the $65-$67 range even with oil above $80 a barrel.

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