BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Three measly trading sessions -- that's all that stands in between us and the first trade of 2015. As I write, the big S&P 500 index is on track to post nearly 13% gains for the year, making it the third straight year of double-digit returns for investors.
The last time U.S. stocks booked three straight years of double-digit performance was 1999, when the dot-com bubble was in full swing.
Even though the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is typically a low-volume, relatively inactive period for the market, it's a good opportunity to get positioned for 2015. That's why we're taking a look at five new Rocket Stocks to buy for gains as we barrel into January. As good as the broad market's performance has been since 2008, our weekly list of Rocket Stocks has done better -- a lot better.
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 280 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500's record run by 77.85%.
Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
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