BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- There's just one full month left in 2014, and if history is any indication, it should be a doozy.
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Generally speaking, December is the best month for stock market performance. Over the last decade, only two Decembers have failed to bring positive returns for stocks, and with the added contributions from a slew of dividend payouts in the final month of the year, investors' total returns are even bigger each December. If the big S&P 500 index keeps up its pace in the final month, we'll end the year up 13.5%.
But with stocks teetering near all-time highs this week, now's not the time to start buying blindly. The names you own matter here. That's why we're turning to the charts for a technical look at five huge stocks to trade for gains this week.
First, a little on the technical toolbox we're using here: 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.
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 big stocks to trade this week.
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