Although the title of this column is "Top 10 Rocket Stocks," it doesn't quite jibe since in this week's portfolio I feature 12 stocks that could make big moves higher in coming days.It's my hope that this week's list -- Rocket Stocks for the Week of Aug. 13-Aug. 17 -- will offer some good short-term stocks to trade on earnings or the possibility of a snapback rally. The goal of this portfolio is not necessarily to find the best stocks for the next century but rather ones that can either snap back this week because of an irrational selloff last week or because they have some potential catalyst that could create a massive move to the upside. Last week was again one of the most volatile markets I have seen in years. With the Dow making multiple three-digit intraday swings, increased concerns over liquidity, the shuttering of more hedge funds and the recent Fed statement -- no wonder people are confused. But let's take a bit of comfort in some numbers here: U.S. households have a net worth of $54 trillion. With all the headlines, you'd think that entire number was going to collapse. But right now even Standard & Poor's admits there's at most $100 billion of at-risk mortgage debt in question. Now, $100 billion is a lot. But it's only 0.2% of the U.S. net worth. The volatility index, or VIX, spiked 23% last Thursday. Moves of greater than 20% have happened 10 times since 1997. In nine of those times, the stock market was up six months later. The average across all 10 occurrences was 10% six months later. Now, while it's perhaps not a significant figure, I can guarantee you this: In all 10 of those occurrences people felt for sure the market was going lower. And they were almost always wrong. Just like they will be now. So let's pick some stocks to buy!
The ScorecardI plan to start something new with this column, by offering quick-take grades on my own picks from the prior week based on how the stock performed compared to my expectations. First is Cisco ( CSCO). This earnings play reported monster results, just as predicted. Readers could have made a quick 6% in this name. Longer term, this is still a great stock and the CEO made very bullish comments in the conference call. It should be bought on any pullback.
Grade: A I also recommend Ralph Lauren ( RL), which reported horrible earnings and gapped down 12%.
Grade: F I recommended Jones Soda ( JSDA) as a pure snapback play due to oversold conditions based on its earnings the week before. Jones Soda climbed as much as 6% but ended the week down 1%.
Grade: C I also recommended Akami ( AKAM) as a pure snapback play as well; due to oversold conditions plus heavy insider buying at much higher prices. Investors could have made a nice 5%.
Grade: B Dynegy ( DYN) reported good earnings, but investors still hammered the stock; it was an earnings play but the stock is down 3% since I recommended it.
Grade: C (Have to wait and see how it does) Zolt ( ZOLT) was by far my best pick in months. The stock climbed 25% since I first recommended it this week alone; the company is amazing, and this is a classic short squeeze.
Grade: A+ TLC Vision ( TLCV) was a Sowood (or as Jim Cramer calls it, DeadWood) Capital play. The combination of the volatility markets and the liquidation of the firm's assets sent this stock down 11% this week -- I would still keep an eye on it, though.
Grade: F ConocoPhillips ( COP) was down 2% for the week. As oil continues to decline in the short term, let this best-of-breed stock come in.
Grade: C Century Aluminum ( CENX) was a snapback play. Century Aluminum climbed as much as 12% last week. It reported a good quarter, and the CEO bought shares on the open market.
Grade: B+ Goldman Sachs ( GS) was a snapback play in my Rocket Stocks update article midweek. It worked for about a day; other than that, subprime-mortgage issues are taking this stock down to unheard-of levels.
Grade: F Microvision ( MVIS) was also a snapback play in my Rocket Stocks update article; shares climbed as much as 9% since Wednesday. The company reported great earnings coupled with the signing of a major deal with Motorola ( MOT) a few weeks ago.
This Week's Potential Rocket StocksFirst up is EMC ( EMC), a software name that has appeared on the Rocket Stocks list in the past. It makes this week's list because one of its subsidiaries, VMware, is set to debut this week on the NYSE. The Aug. 14 IPO is going to big -- really big. In fact, I recorded a video for TheStreet.com TV with Jim Cramer a couple week back in which we talked about the excitement around the VMware IPO and its technology -- Is VMware the Next Google? EMC has been acting doggy lately, but I regard any pullback as a buying opportunity. Now this week analysts and the market are going to be forced to value VMware once it comes public. Cramer believes VMware could go public at $60 a share, giving it a $2 billion market cap. If that's the case, then the 90% of VMware that EMC will continue to own would be worth some $18 billion. Back that figure out of EMC's entire $37 billion market cap and EMC looks insanely cheap at $19 billion (without VMware). The growth figures on VMware are outstanding. Also, VMware cuts companies' technology-related energy bills by 40%. The Senate's recent passing of a pro-renewable energy bill could be a big benefit to VMware. Adding to the bullish case, EMC reported great earnings a few weeks back, but the market only sold it off.
- Today's Hot List: This daily list is a must-view at midday each day 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.
- Biotech Short Squeezes.