September is here, and there's plenty to watch as the market goes back to school. Let's go over a few of the upcoming days to watch.
Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT ) expects to be a big star at Nokia's (NYSE: NOK ) annual Nokia World powwow on Wednesday. The two companies are widely expected to introduce Nokia's first Lumia phones running Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.
It won't be the first device unveiled to the public running Microsoft's refreshed mobile operating system. Samsung beat Nokia to that honor a couple of days ago. However, for Nokia -- one of the past year's hardest-hit stocks before recently doubling off of its summertime lows -- the pressure is far greater. Unlike Samsung, which is riding high on Android, Nokia has centered its smartphone strategy on Microsoft's fledgling smartphone software.
Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN ) has a media event slated for Thursday. Will we see the long-rumored Amazon smartphone? Will investors be treated to the exact number of Kindles the leading e-tailer has sold? Is there a Nook killer in the works?
The answer is probably "no" on all three fronts. The easy bet now is that Amazon will be refreshing its Kindle Fire as well as its entire line of Kindle e-readers.
That's an easy assumption to make, since the original Kindle Fire is now sold out at Amazon's virtual storefront. There's no reason for demand to be so robust this summer season, especially given the competitive nature that has materialized at the $199 price point since the Kindle Fire began selling last November. Obviously, the online retailing giant has cleared out its inventory in anticipation of its new tablet.
The real mystery is how many new features it can pack into the Kindle Fire without bumping the important $199 price higher. There's also the rumored possibility that Amazon will introduce a larger Kindle Fire -- bigger than the current 7-inch version -- to compete directly with the market-leading iPad.
A week after Microsoft, Nokia, and Amazon have their fun, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) will hog the spotlight.
The rumor mills have been pointing to this date as the iPhone 5 presser. Will it pack a bigger screen? Are Apple fans finally getting NFC chips? Is Apple going to be able to stick to its current pricing?
We'll know more soon.
One analyst has said that Apple may sell as many as 250 million units during the iPhone 5's product cycle. After seeing Android run away with the smartphone market in terms of market share -- though obviously not in terms of mobile profitability -- this is Apple's best shot at gaining ground in this growing market.
FedEx (NYSE: FDX ) steps up in three weeks with its latest quarterly report. The speedy parcel-delivery specialist is growing slowly these days. Analysts see the company's fiscal second-quarter revenue inching 4% higher to $10.9 billion and earnings per share climbing 7% to $1.56.
Wall Street's banking on seeing revenue and earnings growth accelerate as the fiscal year plays out, but FedEx's report will ultimately dictate the market's near-term sentiment.
FedEx is an important name to watch. If consumers are buying goods and companies are doing business, you'll see it in FedEx's numbers.
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