BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- U.S. stocks are making another run for new highs this week, after the big S&P 500 index closed Friday at its highest level ever.
Generally speaking, last week was a great one for stocks. All told, three-quarters of S&P 500 components ended the week higher than they started -- and some big names ended things quite a bit higher. Despite early trading pointing lower this Monday, it looks like the wind is going to be at investors' backs this week too.
To make the most of it, we're turning to a fresh set of Rocket Stocks that look ready for blastoff in May.
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 299 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500's record run by 81.65%.
Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
Sometimes, second place isn't so bad -- just ask MasterCard (MA). MasterCard is the No. 2 electronic payment network in the world, just behind top-dog Visa (V) in transaction numbers. MasterCard is well-positioned to benefit from the ongoing shift away from cash and towards electronic payments. With the vast majority of transactions worldwide still being made in cash, the opportunity is very real. That's why MA was able to grow its transaction volume by a very substantial 12% in the last year.