BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Stocks are pointing higher to start the week again, building on last week's colossal 7.39% rally. That puts the S&P 500 right at breakeven for 2011, a significant psychological price level that could add fuel to the buying fire that's come into play since Thanksgiving.
There are still some big barriers for stocks to overcome if 2011 is going to push into the black for most investors. According to data compiled by Morningstar, the average domestic stock fund's performance is still in the red this year, dragged down by inopportune trading and management fees.
That means that even if the S&P 500 can hold its head above water for the next few weeks, Main Street investors could still close the calendar year with portfolio losses. And let's not forget that lingering uncertainty in the eurozone and Washington could still derail any upward momentum.For now, the bullish pressure on the market is worth taking advantage of -- to do that, we'll turn to a new set of Rocket Stock names this week. 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 131 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 79.86%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
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