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By Jonas Elmerraji

BALTIMORE (

TheStreet

) -- The

S&P 500

changed its modus operandi this week, closing lower for the first time in a while. The broad-based index shed 1.22%, closing at 1,016.40 on Friday after a last-ditch attempt to finish the week in the black.

But once again, Stockpickr's Rocket Stocks fared much better than the market. In fact, if you'd invested in each of

last week's picks

, you'd have outperformed the S&P by 4.1%. And as of this week, our Rocket Stock picks from the past eight weeks have outperformed the S&P 500 by 19.9%.

Here's a look at how

last week's Rocket Stocks fared

.

Last week's top gainer was payment processing company

VeriFone

(PAY)

. The company ended the week up 24.95% on stellar earnings and guidance. VeriFone rings in as our second-best-performing Rocket Stock to date, eclipsed only by

AIG's

(AIG) - Get Report

52.91% leap the week before. (

Join the AIG discussion on Stockpickr Answers.

)

Comcast

(CMCSA) - Get Report

and

CVS Caremark

(CVS) - Get Report

also ended the week strong, yielding 3.95% and 1.17%, respectively.

Our worst performer by far was

Zale

(ZLC)

, which closed Friday ahead of this week's earnings down 11.61%.

Now onto

this week's stocks

.

You may be surprised to hear that the first pick for this week is none other than Zale. While this stock disappointed in a big way last week, with earnings scheduled for Sept. 9, this jewelling stock still stands a good shot at impressing investors. Much of Zale's tumble last week was a result of the company's pushing back earnings, which were supposed to be released last week, in order to resolve some noncash adjustments.

Right now, investors' concerns are already priced into this stock, and with consumer sales starting to come to life once again, mid-level jewelry chains such as Zales should see revenues grow in kind.

Abbott Labs

(ABT) - Get Report

, which is held by the Stockpickr-tracked

Vanguard Total Stock Market Index

fund, is a $70 billion pharmaceutical company that's tumbled nearly 15% in 2009. Despite the company's unwelcome trend in the last eight months, Abbott now stands to turn investor opinions to the upside. With no fewer than five significant medical conferences slated for the coming months, Abbot should be able to make its investment case known in the short term.

That investment case includes a 3.51% dividend yield, a number of promising drugs currently in development and a second quarter that met analyst expectations, an accomplishment made more significant by the current health care climate.

As consumers start to drive the American economy once again, strong brands become increasingly attractive to investors.

Campbell Soup

(CPB) - Get Report

is one of those brands. Campbell is the biggest soup maker in the world, outselling its nearest competitor by a factor of 7-to-1 and generating quite a bit of cash in the process. With earnings scheduled for this Friday, the coming week could provide a chance for this stock to rocket.

For more stocks that made this week's cut, including

Allos Theraputics

(ALTH)

and

BP

(BP) - Get Report

, check out the

Rocket Stocks portfolio

at Stockpickr.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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Stockpickr is a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com.

At the time of publication, author had no positions in any stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji, based out of Baltimore, is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including

Forbes

and

Investopedia

, and has been featured in

Investor's Business Daily

, in

Consumer's Digest

and on

MSNBC.com.