With daily three-digit swings in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and tech stocks getting clobbered, it's no wonder this market is difficult for so many investors. Add to all of this random Fed talk, and the overflow of information has kept even the most rationally minded investors and traders dazed and confused.
Despite what many people think, it certainly is possible to make money in the market, no matter how the broad indices perform. Last week's Rocket Stocks portfolio returned a solid 5%-plus for the week compared to the Dow, which posted a 1% rise, and the S&P 500, which closed up 0.3% higher.
As Jim Cramer often reminds us, "There is always a bull market somewhere," and with the volatility index, or VIX, near 30%, it's easy to forget this and sell everything as fear takes over. However, moves in the VIX greater than 25% have historically proven to offer the best buying opportunities.
It's my hope that the Rocket Stocks for the Week of Nov. 19-23 will offer some good short-term stocks to trade. In general, important near-term catalysts (such as oversold conditions, earnings, rumors, insider buying and other technical factors) are much more important than how the market acts -- and those are the trades that I try to bring you. Before we get to this week's picks, however, let's take a quick look how last week's Rocket Stocks, as featured in last Monday's column and the midweek update, fared.
- Local.com (LOCM): Up as much as 49% and ending the week with a 31.5% gain after the company on Thursday announced five licensing agreements for its search and indexing patents.
- Garmin (GRMN): Up 12.4% for the week.
- American Railcar (ARII): I recommended cashing in a 5%-plus gain in this stock on Wednesday's update. However, the stock surged Friday to end the week up 12.8% after superinvestor Carl Icahn disclosed he had increased his position in the stock.
- Crocs (CROX): I recommended selling this stock for a 3.5% gain in Wednesday's update, but like American Railcar it continued rising, ending the week up 5.9%.
- Genesis Lease (GLS): I recommended selling this stock in my midweek update for a gain of about 3%. That proved a smart move, as this stock ended the week down 4.4%.
- Eaton (ETN): Up as much as 3.6% for the week but ultimately ending down 0.9%.
- EMC (EMC): Up 2.5% at one point, but ending the week down 1.5%.
- Lam Research (LRCX): Down 2.5%.
- NYSE Euronext (NYX): Down 3.6% for the week as CEO John Thain is leaving the firm to take up the head position at Merrill Lynch (MER).
- Boston Scientific (BSX): Up as much as 4% but ended the week down 4.4%.
- Cleveland-Cliffs (CLF), a midweek addition, ended the week roughly flat from when I featured it on Wednesday.
- Motorola (MOT), another midweek addition, also ended generally flat from Wednesday.