The new trading week begins with a trip halfway around the world, to China's (NASDAQ:CTRP). China's leading online travel site has been slowed lately. After huge growth spurts in the past, Wall Street is looking for Ctrip's third-quarter earnings to come in at just $0.22 a share, after a $0.21-per-share profit a year ago.

Don't let that news bring you down, though. Ctrip has easily surpassed analyst expectations in each of the six previous quarters.

Home Depot (NYSE:HD) steps onto the earnings stage, a day after home-improvement superstore rival Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) does. Put the two reports together, and you'll get a great snapshot of the state of hardware retail.

Are cash-strapped consumers still spending money to fix up their homes? Check in on Tuesday for the answers.

(NASDAQ:INTU) checks in on Wednesday. This isn't a seasonally potent quarter for the company. It isn't late December, when companies buy new installments of the company's small-business accounting program. It isn't mid-April, when copies of its tax-filing software sell briskly. The company historically posts a small loss during the lull, so it's hard to expect anything else.

If you could go back a decade, you'd find huge earnings reports out of Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL). Gap was the specialty retail darling, and Dell's direct-selling model for PCs had the rest of its peers envious. Both companies are struggling these days. Let's see which one is closer to a turnaround on Thursday.

Let's wrap up the trading week by catching up with ketchup. Analysts see H.J. Heinz (NYSE:HNZ) earning $0.74 a share in its fiscal second quarter, just ahead of the $0.71 that the supermarket-staple provider posted a year ago. If Friday feels too far away, feel free to sing along to the old "Heinz 57" commercials, with Carly Simon belting out "Anticipation."

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz is a Motley Fool Hidden Gems selection. Heinz is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. Home Depot, Gap, and Dell are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Gap is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield wiper fluid when trying to look forward. He is also part of the Rule Breakers research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does own not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.