BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Earnings are owning the market this week, with more than 50 firms expected to report their numbers to Wall Street between now and Friday. That slew of earnings data, coupled with an economic data dump, should take some of the onus off of Europe in February just as missteps in Greece threaten to derail Mr. Market's upward trajectory.
The EU has largely been an absent factor from U.S. stocks in 2012, and investors would like to keep it that way. Luckily, we're in a different market in February than we were in the third and fourth quarters of 2011. Now, with eurozone risks largely priced into share prices here at home, it would take a truly unexpected sudden event in Greece to actually torpedo stock prices again.
And meanwhile, good earnings and a series of positive economic developments have been ratcheting investor sentiment higher. This week, we'll capitalize on that with a new set of Rocket Stocks.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 139 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 82.75%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
2012 Stock Predictions and Outlook
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