Shoes, shirts, and Cheerios will play bit parts in the week of news that is waiting to happen.

The new trading week kicks off with a Nike (NYSE:NKE) workout. The company's first-quarter report for fiscal 2006 will be compelling for a few reasons. For starters, fiscal 2005 was solid. Earnings rose by 28% for the athletic-footwear giant on a 12% uptick in sales. With future orders having risen a sharp 9.5% at the time, the seed was certainly there for a healthy first-quarter showing.

Fiscal 2006 is also the first year that Nike won't have Philip Knight at the helm. The charismatic CEO who helped build Nike over the years retired back in December. The company hasn't missed a step so far in Knight's absence, but a strong start to its new reporting period will be crucial in making sure that the succession strategy was a success.

For once, let's hope that Circuit City (NYSE:CC) doesn't follow in the footsteps of Best Buy (NYSE:BBY). That's because Best Buy saw its stock get hammered on Tuesday after it posted disappointing results and trimmed its near-term profit expectations.

Tuesday will be Circuit City's turn to report its quarterly financials. The consumer-electronics superstore chain has had a rocky run but has put together some respectable results lately. For that reason, it would be awfully intriguing if Circuit City's quarter winds up showing stronger gains than Best Buy posted. It would be even more compelling if Circuit City is able to stick to its forward estimates.

Best Buy may have been a welcome recommendation in the Motley Fool Stock Advisor newsletter back in December of 2003, but now it's Circuit City's turn to show whether it can be the new niche leader.

Most investors tend to have pet stocks. They don't necessarily own the stocks, but they keep tabs on them because those folks feel that the shares provide some pretty good indicators on where the market is heading. My pet stock? Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS), which is set to report its fiscal first-quarter numbers come Wednesday.

I think Cintas' results make for the perfect tea leaves when it comes to reading the state of corporate spending. If more companies are hiring, you will see it in Cintas' numbers, since Cintas is the leading provider of workplace uniforms. If more companies feel compelled to upgrade their service contracts with Cintas because of their economic outlooks, you will see that reflected in Cintas' numbers.

The company has been steady through the highs and lows of the corporate growth cycle. In fact, it has grown revenues and earnings for 36 consecutive years. So it's not a matter of whether the company will be growing this quarter. History suggests that's a given. It's just a matter of how much the company has been growing over the past few months.

Cereal giant General Mills (NYSE:GIS) is looking to bowl over Wall Street with a report on its quarter that ended in August. The company has been leading the way in transitioning its cereal brands to whole grains, in a move that has won the company accolades from nutritionists. But is the public buying in as well? We'll get a decent glimpse on Thursday of how the strategy has been working out for General Mills. The company's previous financial outing was a mixed bag without a toy inside: Adjusted May-quarter sales rose by 5% with profits sinking by 9%.

That's why, in terms of the General Mills' cereal line, shareholders will be hoping for a lot of Lucky Charms without going heavy into the Trix.

Fridays tend to be quiet on the earnings front, but not if you're Electro Scientific Industries (NASDAQ:ESIO). Even though we haven't written about the maker of semiconductor testing equipment in nearly five years, the Oregon-based company gets a nod this time around as one of the few companies looking to close out the new trading week with its quarterly numbers.

The company has had a hand in everything from wireless phones to PDAs to car electronics. Let's see whether it can also have a hand in making sure that we close out the week on a strong note.

Want to learn more about the companies waiting to report earnings this week? Check out:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a soup fan. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.