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BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Despite a constructive week for economic data, investors are anxious about Mr. Market again. Last week, unemployment dropped to 7.7%, the lowest it's been in four years. At the same time, payrolls beat forecasts and the eurozone made some progress on its perennial debt issues.
But the lack of buying pressure in stocks over the last couple of weeks shows that investors are still breathing into a paper bag right now.
Yes, the fiscal cliff is a big piece of the puzzle -- the politically fuelled soap opera is likely to keep anxiety readings higher until it's resolved. That said, it's important to remember that equity investors aren't exactly in dire straits right now; the
S&P 500 is currently sitting on gains of 12.7% on the year, market volatility is near this year's lows, and stock fundamentals support higher ground for early 2013.
With Christmas right around the corner, the traditional holiday push for stocks could catch a lot of folks by surprise. That's why we're taking a closer look at five new Rocket Stocks to start the week.
>>5 Stocks Insiders are Stashing
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 179 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 74.5%.
Without further ado, here's a look at
this week's Rocket Stocks.
Procter & Gamble
Blue chips don't come any bluer than
Procter & Gamble(PG - Get Report) -- the $192 billion consumer goods maker owns some of the most ubiquitous brands on consumers' shelves. Labels like Charmin, Tide, and Pantene are just a few of the brands in the $1 billion club, the group of 25 P&G units that generate more than a billion dollars worth of global sales each year. That's more giant brands than any other household products maker can boast.