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5 Stocks to Buy for a Santa Claus Rally

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- As Mr. Market gets ready for the holidays, are investors going to be left with coal in their stockings at the end of 2011?

Historically, December is a very strong month for stocks -- in the last century, that seasonality relationship has left investors with gains 73% of the time. To date, this December hasn't quite lived up to the norm; as I write, the S&P 500 is down around 2.2% on the month. The biggest reason for that is the abundance of drama-induced volatility that's ravaged Wall Street this quarter.

Seasonality is strongest when investors are complacent and calm. This December, they've been anything but.

>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar

And with Christmas less than a week away, market participants are going to be facing low volume and investor ennui as the calendar year draws to a close. To succeed in this market, you've got to think outside of the box -- that's why it makes sense to watch the Rocket Stocks 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 133 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 82.89%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
PPG $115.06 -0.03%
PAYX $48.01 -0.33%
SWY $35.10 -0.11%
WAG $81.65 2.05%
VRSK $73.42 -0.46%

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