BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- It may be hard to believe, but August trading kicks off on Friday. That means that investors need to be buckling in for the "new month, new market" phenomenon that's been moving stocks for the better part of the last year.
In August, expect earnings to have a big impact on where stock prices end up four weeks from now. As I write, just under half of the names in the S&P 500 have reported their second quarter numbers to Wall Street so far – and the results have been overwhelmingly positive. Since earnings season began, 78% of reporting S&P constituents have beaten analysts' expectations for the quarter. That's the highest beat rate in years.
To take full advantage of the earnings momentum, we're turning to a new set of "Rocket Stocks" worth buying this week.
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 259 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500's record run by 80.1%.
Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.