BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Volatility looks to be the name of the game once again this week, following the 25% increase in the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index -- better known as the VIX -- on Friday. The index, which measures the implied volatility of the S&P 500, is the primary indicator of volatility for equity investors, and such a large uptick suggests that continued price swings could be ahead. The catalysts for those increased trading ranges are pretty obvious.First up, we're smack dab in the middle of earnings season, that time each quarter when significant event risk surrounds hundreds of major firms' earnings calls. Although this earnings season has been fairly strong across the board, it's been clear lately that even stocks with decent earnings are getting sold off if they fail to meet Wall Street's lofty expectations. At the same time, strife in Egypt -- and throughout the region, for that matter -- is having a palpable effect on many markets. Chief among them is commodities. Crude oil rallied hard on Friday as speculation loomed that protests in Egypt could disrupt supply coming through the Suez Canal. We'll need to wait to see exactly how the tumult abroad pans out -- and how it will impact the financial markets. Related: 10 Small Stocks With Big Potential Meanwhile, we'll attempt to outperform the market by turning to our weekly list of Rocket Stocks. For the uninitiated, Rocket Stocks are our weekly list of companies with short-term gain catalysts and longer-term growth potential. In the last 89 weeks, our Rocket Stocks have beaten the S&P 500 by 76.51%. This week, we'll continue our trend of looking at stocks with rising analyst expectations. On Wall Street, expectations can mean everything -- and stocks with rising expectations often benefit from increased buying pressures from institutions and retail investors alike. To find them, I run a quantitative screen that seeks out stocks with a combination of analyst upgrades and positive earnings surprises. Here's a look at this week's potential plays. Even though General Electric ( GE) may be the prototypical blue-chip stock, don't think that this $215 billion conglomerate doesn't move much. In the last 12 months, shares of GE have rallied more than 25%, the company's 2.8% dividend yield notwithstanding. That's an impressive bit of performance for GE -- and Wall Street analyst sentiment is pointing toward continued gains for this newly added Rocket play.
Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.