BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- A quarter of a percent -- that's all that stands in the way of the S&P 500 and all-time highs as of this morning. A measly 15 points separate the big index and that all-time high water mark from January.
So after rallying with serious enthusiasm since the first week of February, stocks are getting their first real test to end the month.
If equities can hold their heads above this year's earlier highs, it'll be an important piece of confirmation that this rally is far from over. That's a very different message than most investors felt just three weeks ago.To take full advantage of the sentiment shift, we're looking at five new "Rocket Stocks" today. >>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts 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 237 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 85.49%. Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks. Juniper Networks Sometimes, being in second place isn't so bad. Just ask Juniper Networks (JNPR - Get Report), the underdog in the IP networking duopoly it shares with larger rival Cisco Systems (CSCO). Juniper may be the smaller firm, but it's managed to deliver significant outperformance in 2014. While Cisco is basically flat on the year, JNPR is up almost 24%. And now this stock looks well positioned to extend its lead.