5 Rocket Stocks Worth Buying This Week

Tickers in this article: COH EBAY HD MAN V

5 Rocket Stocks Worth Buying This Week

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- The S&P 500 gained a measly 0.38% last week, hardly anything worth writing home about, so you'd be forgiven for missing the big market forces that were in play last week. But make no mistake -- some big things are happening on and off Wall Street right now.

Investors are slowly starting to realize that stocks could move up from here. Even though the S&P 500 is up 15% since the start of the summer, the big index is still trading at a double-digit discount to its historic valuation average. And that uptrend in the S&P is pushing it to new post-crash highs in January.

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The professionals are taking note too. Hedge funds have levered up their portfolios the most since 2004 according to data from Bloomberg, indicating a flip from a short bias to a long position in the market. It doesn't hurt that a lot of shorts had to cover in the last couple of months, as many heavily shorted names got squeezed higher into the new year.

Now, with earnings season in full swing, we're starting to get some added fundamental backup for a rally in stocks. That's why we're taking a look at a new set of Rocket Stock names today.

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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 184 weeks, our weekly list of five plays has outperformed the S&P 500 by 73.4%.

Without further ado, here's a look at this week's Rocket Stocks .

>>5 Breakout Trades to Profit From the January Effect Visa

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Giant payment network Visa (V) is no stranger to our Rocket Stocks list -- and that's for good reason. This stock has rallied more than 30% in the last six months, and more than 6% so far in 2013 alone. Visa's market leading position in a strengthening economy points to even more upside for this stock for months to come.

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Visa is the standard bearer in the payment network business. The firm's logo is printed on more than 60% of the world's credit and debit cards, giving it dominance that other firms can't touch. It doesn't hurt that payment card acceptance is a positive feedback loop: consumers see Visa's network accepted everywhere they shop, so they're more likely to get a Visa-braded card, and merchants see more customers whip out a Visa than any other brand, so they're more willing to keep accepting Visa. That makes the firm's network extremely hard to replicate for new networks unless they're willing to take a huge haircut on the fees they charge.