BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- The first trading day of August is right around the corner -- and that means that you should be paying attention to a handful of Rocket Stocks as this summer rally heats up.
What summer rally, you ask? I'll admit, the rally this summer hasn't exactly been the most conspicuous. With all of the drama unfolding in Europe and here at home in the form of earnings, there have been eyes on a lot besides price action. But take a minute to look at a chart of the S&P 500, and it's clear that stocks have been making an orderly ascent. Since the start of June, the S&P is up around 8.4%, and the index looks technically set to continue its climb in August.
This week, all eyes are on the Fed for the umpteenth time since the summer started. And the term "QE3" is starting to get thrown around again. I've already said why I don't think that QE3 isn't coming yet for investors -- and my "stimulus gauge" still suggests that another round isn't coming this week. But that shouldn't stop stocks from slowly making their ascent.
That's why we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stocks this week.>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar 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 161 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 77.64%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.