Nothing kicks off the new trading week like aluminum. Am I right? Who's with me? Well, even if you're not, aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE: AA ) will report first-quarter results on Monday. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.50 a share, well below the $0.79 a share it generated a year earlier.
If it misses Wall Street's guesstimate, would that make it an aluminum foil?
If it's Tuesday, it must be Sealy (NYSE: ZZ ) . The mattress maker is hoping that the bedbugs don't bite, even if investors are looking for this to be the fourth consecutive quarter in which the company posts lower earnings than the year before.
There was a time when investors felt that making mattresses was an all-weather business. Economic boom or bust, replacing mattresses was a part of life. However, seeing how all of the mattress and high-end air and foam mattress makers are faltering lately, it looks like consumers are making their beds last a little longer these days.
A pair of superstore retailers step up on Wednesday. Bed Bath & Beyond (Nasdaq: BBBY ) and Circuit City (NYSE: CC ) are reporting. Yes, Circuit City could get ugly. The consumer electronics chain was on a sweet turnaround a couple of years ago. Now it's likely to post its fourth consecutive quarterly loss. Bed Bath & Beyond is doing substantially better, though Wall Street sees a dip in profitability for the period.
Genentech (NYSE: DNA ) gives the market a biotech kick. Then again, one can always argue that established, profitable biotechs like Genentech and Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN ) might as well be categorized as part of the mainstream Big Pharma sector, given their blue-chip status in the health-care space.
General Electric (NYSE: GE ) closes out the week in a major way. It wasn't too long ago that GE actually commanded the loftiest market cap on the planet. That was before Big Oil began to speak up. Still, GE is every inch a bellwether, and it will ring loudly come Friday morning.
Until next week, I remain,