BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Monday's market closure in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is providing an extended reprieve for traders to catch their breath after what's been a pretty lackluster follow-up performance to a breakneck stock performance in 2013.
But even though the S&P 500 is in corrective mode right now, it's premature to think that anything's changed in the big picture.
Earnings season continues to be a key driver of stock prices this month, as investors get one of the four fundamental updates of the year on most of their portfolio names. Earnings are likely to continue to be the single most important news item for the next month and change. By and large, earnings haven't been horrible this quarter, and that's saying something if they can support the 29.6% valuation bump that the broad market tacked on in the past year.Yes, there's still quite a bit of upside potential in this market. To make the most of it, we're turning to a fresh set of Rocket Stocks for this week. >>5 Sin Stocks to Play Defense in 2014 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 232 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 86.33%. Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.