BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- It's hard to believe, but the year is quickly drawing to a close. Monday kicks off the first trading session in December. >>5 Stocks Set to Soar on Bullish Earnings What a year it's been: Year-to-date, shares of the S&P 500 are up a staggering 26.4%, catching bears (and even some bulls) by surprise since the first trading session in January. But it's a little early to start wrapping up the books for 2013. After all, December is typically no-slouch when it comes to performance numbers. Since 1926, buying stocks in the final month of the year has been a pretty good strategy. Even during the market crash of 2008, December brought a reprieve from the selloff, shedding just 2.62% from the S&P's value. Even with a tailwind for the big indexes, selectivity still matters. By focusing on high-probability trades (and skirting underperformers), you can wring out the biggest returns in the final stretch of 2013. That's why we're taking a technical look at five big-name trades to take this week. >>5 Retail Trades to Take Before Black Friday If you're new to technical analysis, here's the executive summary. Technicals are a study of the market itself. Since the market is ultimately the only mechanism that determines a stock's price, technical analysis is a valuable tool even in the roughest of trading conditions. Technical charts are used every day by proprietary trading floors, Wall Street's biggest financial firms, and individual investors to get an edge on the market. And research shows that skilled technical traders can bank gains as much as 90% of the time. >>5 Rocket Stocks for Turkey Day Trading Every week, I take an in-depth look at big names that are telling important technical stories. Here's this week's look at five high-volume stocks to trade this week.