Update from 7:01 a.m. EDT

Each week, in my research for potential rocket stocks, I look for the possible near-term catalysts that could drive specific stocks higher. I'm searching for stocks that are likely to have the most volatility in the coming days, with the idea that the odds are greater that the volatility will move in a positive direction.

But before we get to this week's Rocket Stock portfolio, let's take a quick look at how last week's picks fared.

  • Flowserve (FLS - Get Report): Up more than 12% at one point during the week, and ending the week with a 9% gain. The company posted positive earnings results and raised its 2008 profit guidance.
  • bebe stores (BEBE): Up about 5% for the week, despite posting a drop in sales.
  • UltraShort Oil & Gas ProShares (DUG): Up 4.5% on the week as oil and natural gas pulled back.
  • Oil States International (OIS): Ended up 3.2% after posting earnings that beat Wall Street estimates.
  • Walter Industries (WLT): Up 2.9% on the week following earnings.
  • Manitowoc (MTW - Get Report): Ran up 4% ahead of earnings on Monday, but finished the week up just 1%. Manitowoc reiterated its 2008 profit outlook of $3.20 to $3.40 per share; analysts, however, were looking for an average of $3.41.
  • GulfMark Offshore (GLF): Down 2.8% on the week, despite reporting an earnings-per-share beat.
  • Yamana Gold (AUY): Finished the week down 5.2% as the dollar strengthened and gold stocks sold off.
  • FreightCar America (RAIL): Down 6.6% on the week after reporting a sharp earnings miss.

Now let's take a look at the Rocket Stocks for the Week of May 5-9.

First up is Blackboard , which provides software and database applications to various colleges and universities throughout the U.S. and aboard.

The company is slated to report first-quarter earnings on Wednesday, and with college seasons still in full swing, overall server and software demand has the potential to come in ahead of current analyst expectations. Blackboard shares have pulled back nicely from an all-time high of nearly $50. The stock closed Friday at $35.36.

Another name to keep an eye on this week is Kaiser Aluminum ( KALU - Get Report), which is slated to report first-quarter earnings Thursday.

Kaiser has been handling increased commodity prices very well and is a huge play off the aerospace upgrade cycle. It handily beat Wall Street profit estimates when it reported fourth-quarter results in February.

For more stock ideas -- including California Pizza Kitchen NYSE Euronext ( NYX) and Basic Energy Services ( BAS - Get Report) -- check out the Rocket Stocks for the Week of May 5-9 at Stockpickr.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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