BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- It's earnings season, and so far, the numbers are looking impressive. Out the gate, 70% of early reportingS&P 500 names have met or beat earnings expectations. But a whopping 78% of individual names in the big index are down over that same stretch, since earnings season started.
The clear takeaway is the earnings don't matter as much as most investors think -- at least not in their raw form.
But while the price direction from quarterly financial releases is far from obvious, earnings can certainly inject volatility into the marketplace. Last week was the fourth-biggest drop of 2014, and two of the other four took place during earnings season as well. Want to navigate the noise? Then focus on the "Rocket Stocks."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 257 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 79.51%. >>5 Stocks Ready for Breakouts Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.