BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Investors mashed the "risk on" button following last week's European summit, sending the S&P 500 soaring 2.49% on Friday, providing investors with the biggest single-day gains of 2012. But here's the kicker: Mr. Market is getting shoved higher again to start July. That bodes well for stock investors right now.
All told, last month was the best performing June in more than a decade, with the S&P climbing close to 4% for the month. The fact that investors are shaking off the stigma of the "summer doldrums" to buy equities is a good sign, particularly given some of the fear-driven headlines of the past few weeks.
And now, with earnings season set to officially kick off on July 9 with Alcoa's (AA) second quarter conference call, stock buyers will have a barrage of new fundamental stats to weigh. Based on last quarter's numbers, the S&P is around 20% cheaper today than it was at this time last year - and that discount may not last for long...That's why we're turning 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. >>ACTIVE STOCK TRADERS: Check out Stockpickr's special offer for Real Money, headlined by Jim Cramer, now! In the last 157 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 79.12%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.