Sleep in. Take a load off. The market is closed on Monday, so there won't be any point in taking in anything other than your reheated holiday leftovers. Then again, with way too many companies taking a break as 2005 comes to a close, you shouldn't expect much in terms of corporate news in the days that will follow despite it being business as usual on Wall Street. So, yes, that's right. I'm giving you the flexibility to sleep in all week if you must.

On Tuesday the market will have its first opportunity to respond to how retailers fared. Most chains won't be necessarily quick to spill the beans, though you can count on Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) with its weekly sales updates to give investors something to chew on. Online giant (NASDAQ:AMZN) is another likely reporter. Can you believe it? This will be Amazon's 11th holiday selling season. Last year the Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation issued its seasonal sales release on Dec. 27, so if history repeats itself, be on the lookout for news from the e-tail leader. Last year Amazon moved 2.8 million units over the holidays. That works out to 32 items every single second. That figure is likely to improve nicely here in 2005.

Then again, if those retail figures aren't up to snuff, folks may simply be spending their gifts on Wednesday. That's because gift certificates have become a major part of the gifting process. Amazon, for instance, moved 500,000 gift certificates during the 2004 holiday season.

Why is that important? Well, retailers don't register a gift certificate as a sale when it is purchased. The sale is accounted for only when it is redeemed. This can translate into healthier-than-expected sales results after the holiday celebrations.

Yes, Virginia, there is an earnings report. Luby's (NYSE:LUB) reports its fiscal first-quarter report on Thursday. The chain of cafeteria restaurants is looking to post a profit of $0.04 a share for the period. It may not seem like much, but it would be a dramatic improvement from the nickel per share it lost last year, and the $0.20-a-share deficit it suffered during the same quarter the year before that.

The company is still far removed from its popularity peak in the late 1990s, when annual sales clocked in at roughly $500 million. Back in October, Luby's posted fiscal 2005 revenue of just $322.2 million. Still, that was a slight improvement from fiscal 2004. So, no, Luby's isn't all the way back yet, but Thursday's report may put it one step further along on that uphill road.

The final trading day of the calendar year may not mean much, unless you just happen to be a mutual fund manager. Window dressing is often the name of the game as reporting periods come to a close. That's when some, though thankfully not most, money managers trade in and out of positions in order to make their year-end reports appear as if they had won all the winners and dodged all the losers.

It's a flawed practice, of course. You can't bury actual returns. If you see Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL) as the top holdings of a stock fund, yet it has returned single-digit gains in 2006, you just know that the performance numbers are what shareowners will ultimately hold a fund manager accountable for.

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 recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look forward. He does not own shares in any of the companies 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.