Spice racks and wisecracks will color in the week that lies ahead.

Monday
The new trading week kicks off with Walgreen (NYSE:WAG) filling your prescription for a fiscal fourth-quarter report. The drugstore chain has been a steady producer over the years. Pharmacies offer ideal defensive investing opportunities, since the companies are as close as one can get to being immune to economic swings. It's also an industry that has seen a lot of consolidation in recent years, which is one way to draw attention to your sector.

Tuesday
Many of us would never dream of owning an actual red hat, but the same can't be said for the prospects of owning the Red Hat (NASDAQ:RHAT) you can put in your portfolio. The company has been able to cash in on the Linux open-source platform. Yes, there's money to be made off free code, especially once you add your own refinements and package it into something valuable.

Another reason to take a look at Red Hat as it approaches its quarterly financials on Tuesday: It's beaten analyst estimates for five consecutive quarters. Even if Wall Street thinks that the company will see earnings grow from $0.09 to $0.11 a share this time, momentum suggests it may produce another penny or two above that target.

Wednesday
McCormick (NYSE:MKC) will spice up the middle of the week. Like Red Hat, McCormick has also lapped analyst profit targets over the past five quarters. However, unlike the fast-growing Red Hat, investors are buying into the leading spice maker because it won't necessarily spice up their portfolios.

McCormick shares have traded between $29.53 and $37.17 over the past 12 months. That's not too volatile when you consider the turbulence of the day-to-day market.

Thursday
Contrary to popular belief, if you crack open a Topps (NASDAQ:TOPP) quarterly report, you won't find a stick of plywood-solid gum inside. That doesn't mean investors know what they'll be getting when they peek inside. The trading-card and candy maker has often disappointed its shareholders in the past.

Topps did provide a better-than-expected performance last time out, fueled by healthy growth in its core baseball-card business. Let's see whether it can stretch that infield single into a ground-rule double come Thursday.

Friday
On the big screen, Sony (NYSE:SNE) unleashes Open Season at a multiplex near you. Even though it seems as if Disney subsidiary Pixar and DreamWorks Animation (NYSE:DWA) -- both Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks, by the way -- have a monopoly on all the animated hits these days (beyond Fox's Ice Age franchise), Sony has big hopes for this autumn entry.

I know that I've seen ads and trailers for it for months now. In fact, I think I've almost seen the whole movie!

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 article. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.