BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Mr. Market is returning to rally mode this morning, and he's got help from hedge funds. So far, the S&P 500 has rallied more than 11% in 2012, and professional investors are starting to take the hint.In the trailing five months, hedge funds have been winding out bearish positions and buying stocks at their fastest rate in two years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That's a good sign for stocks as we head toward April. As demand moves into the equity market, large hedge funds' $13 trillion in assets could help to propel share prices higher. And now, with the S&P sitting within throwing distance of an all-time high, there are some major psychological implications for traders. Plenty of eyes are on 1400 to start the week as the index attempts to hold a price level that's as of yet only really been flirted with in March. It's likely that a push above 1400 would bring some money from the sidelines back into active buying -- and with hedge funds already buying with both hands, that's a move that could give this rally some serious staying power. >>5 Stocks Setting Up to Break Out To take full advantage, we're turning to a new set of Rocket Stocks this week. For the uninitiated, "Rocket Stocks" are our list of companies with short-term gain catalysts and longer-term growth potential. To find them, I run a weekly quantitative screen that seeks out stocks with a combination of analyst upgrades and positive earnings surprises to identify rising analyst expectations, a bullish signal for stocks in any market. After all, where analysts' expectations are increasing, institutional cash often follows. In the last 145 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 79.35%. With that, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
Dick's Sporting Goods
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