At the start of each week, I write a column featuring the Rocket Stocks for the week, a list of stocks that I believe have the potential to surge higher in coming days.

The goal of this portfolio is not necessarily to find the best stocks for the next year but, rather, to find stocks that can either snap back this coming week or that have some other potential catalyst that could send the stock soaring in the short term.

With

TheStreet.com's Beat the Street

stock-picking contest now under way, potential rocket stocks like these could really pay off.

Before we get to

this week's Rocket Stocks

-- which include names like

Genentech

( DNA) and

Halliburton

(HAL) - Get Report

-- let's take a look at how

last week's picks

fared.

  • Nortel( NT): Up 22.3% on a news-rich week that included the launched of new mobile communications products at the CTIA conference in Las Vegas.
  • Evergreen Solar( ESLR): Up 16.3% on the week as solar stocks came back into play.
  • Schnitzer Steel (SCHN) - Get Report: Up 12.9% on the week after posting a second-quarter earnings beat.
  • Inverness Medical( IMA): Up 9.6% on the week as a pure snapback play.
  • Family Dollar Stores (FDO) : A recession play that ended the week up 6.4%.
  • Motorola( MOT): Up 5% on the week as investors took a better look at the company's potential spin-off.
  • Research In Motion( RIMM): Up 3% on the week after reporting blowout fourth-quarter earnings.
  • Valero (VLO) - Get Report: Up 2.8% on the week as the prior week's analyst upgrade of this stock finally got respect.
  • AZZ (AZZ) - Get Report: Down 13.3% on the week after posting a drop in fourth-quarter revenue Friday.
  • UltraShort Oil & Gas ProShares (DUG) - Get Report: Down 10.7% on the week as oil service stocks rallied.

One stock worth keeping an eye on this week is

China Petroleum & Chemical

(SNP) - Get Report

, or Sinopec. The independent oil and gas company is set to report earnings Monday.

As the stock trades down more than $80 from its 52-week high, China Petroleum & Chemical is positioned as a great international play on China, oil and the increased strength in the chemical sector. Chinese demand for refined oil products and chemical products have grown steadily over the past year as China's economy continues to boom.

With crude oil prices at record levels, China Petroleum likely will be able to increase overall margins. EBITDA was up 32.6% from '06 to '07, and total earnings per share were up 43.2% in the same time frame. The chemical sector also has actually been quite strong. In fact, chemical prices have been steadily increasing year over year.

With earnings next week, China Petroleum's main business segments are in two bull market sectors, and that position could help the company beat earnings expectations.

Also worth looking at is

Greenbrier

(GBX) - Get Report

, another stock set to report earnings this week.

Greenbrier is in the business of producing and repairing railcars. With railroad stocks like

Burlington Northern

( BNI) and

CSX

(CSX) - Get Report

reporting record transportation volume, it is natural to draw a positive correlation between total shipping volume and railcars that need to be fixed.

TST Recommends

One of Greenbrier's lesser competitors is

American Railcar

(ARII) - Get Report

, which in late February posted solid earnings that would appear to confirm this positive sector trend.

Also, mega investor

Carl Icahn

has increased his stake in both American Railcar and Greenbrier as he tries to get the two companies to merge.

With a positive sector trend and short position of 16% in the stock, Greenbrier has the potential to move higher as it reports earnings Wednesday. And the presence of the stock's short-sellers could add to the move higher.

For more detailed analysis and the rest of this week's picks, check out the

Rocket Stocks for the Week of April 7-11

at Stockickr.com.

As always, to find the snapbacks and potential breakouts on a regular basis, check out these Stockpickr portfolios, which I use in my own research each week:

  • Today's Hot List: This daily list is a must-view every midday to see what stocks are making the biggest moves and why.
  • Always check the Biggest Percentage Losers, a list of stocks that lost big the day before, because they can snap back hard. When you check this list on Stockpickr, you can see which stocks are owned by the quality hedge funds and mutual funds. Pay attention to those. They will be buying at the lower prices, so you should be also.
  • Ditto for the 52-week-low list. You must check the above two lists every day if you hope to find volatile stocks.
  • Biotech Short Squeezes: Dendreon (DNDN) and others can often be found in this category.
  • Stocks Rising on Unusual Volume: These are potential breakout stocks.
  • Stockpickr's System Trades of the Day: These are trades triggering that day in various back tested trading systems we've developed.
  • Stocks With Unusual Option Activity: Perhaps someone knows something?
  • Latest Activist Situations: These are beaten-down stocks that hedge funds are accumulating shares of and demanding change in. Believe me, these hedge funds piggyback each other. And once they start rocking the boat, things happen quickly. This should be on your must-view list.

Another place to frequent is the

Answers

section on Stockpickr, where ideas such as those presented in this article are thrown around daily. And you can further discuss your ideas and share opinions in Stockpickr's

Members' Forums

section.

At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of

Stockpickr

LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the

Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund

,

Trade Like Warren Buffett

and

SuperCa$h

. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

click here

to send him an email.

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