Another week, another record high for the big U.S. market averages in 2017. The big S&P 500 hit new all-time intraday and closing highs Friday, ending the week on a very positive note for anyone who owns stocks.
But despite the big bullish trend in the averages, it's still a stock picker's market. As I write, nearly one-in-five S&P components are up double-digits already in 2017. And any tools you can use to separate those outperformers from the rest of the herd could add a huge margin to your portfolio in the months ahead.
That's why, today, we're honing in on five new Rocket Stocks to buy for market-beating gains in February ...
In case you're not familiar, 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 past 386 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500's record-breaking run by 76.12%.
So, without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
Up first on the list of Rocket Stocks this week is e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (BABA) . Alibaba is the biggest e-tailer in the world based on gross merchandise volume--and it's parlaying that scale into some stellar performance in 2017. Already, shares are up 16.6% since the start of the calendar year, and that upward trend looks likely to continue in the quarter ahead ...
Alibaba owns the most popular online marketplaces in China, including namesake Alibaba, web marketplace Tmall, consumer-to-consumer sales site Taobao, and daily deals site Juhuasuan. Additionally, Alibaba also operates a payment network and a collection of cloud computing products. While Alibaba's business structure isn't particularly novel, the fact that it's applying those businesses to the Chinese market is--that's the driver behind Alibaba's outstanding growth rates.
Alibaba is a great example of a positive feedback loop in the marketplace business. With more than 443 million active buyers, the firm's marketplaces attract sellers who want a big audience to market to. Likewise, buyers keep coming back because of Alibaba's selection of merchandise. With an estimated one in three Chinese consumers shopping on an Alibaba-owned site, the firm is by far the dominant player in the People's Republic--but there's still considerable room for growth in the long-run. Shorter-term, buyers are clearly in control of shares this week; it makes sense to make a bet alongside them.