By Lou Carlozo, Senior Writer, US News & World Report:

If you’ve been riding that gravy train known as the Standard & Poor’s 500 index for the last five years, then you’re living in the land of the healthy, wealthy and high-fives: It’s risen a robust 91 percent since 2010. And the Dow Jones industrial average? Up 70 percent over the same period.

As high profile as those market indexes will always remain among investors, the stock market as a whole is loaded with newsworthy companies that make headlines – and, it is hoped, meet or beat Wall Street’s expectations. Wondering which side of the burner the hotshots – or duds – are on? Here, we look at eight noteworthy stocks for their hot-or-not potential.

Wyndham Worldwide Corp. (WYN). It’s a potential timeshare Tilt-a-Whirl, as Wyndham (a 2006 spinoff from Cendant Corp.) could be spinning off its vacation ownership timeshare business, says Jim Osman, CEO of The Edge Consulting Group. He cites Marriott International (MAR) and its 2011 spinoff of Marriott Vacations Worldwide (VAC), which benefited both companies handsomely. Wyndham’s move, if it occurs, could take some time, “but it presents an interesting long-term story. CEO Stephen P. Holmes has an ideology of creating value for shareholders, which strengthens our thesis of a potential spinoff,” Osman says.

Continue reading full article….