Ports, payrolls, and paper will decorate the week that lies ahead.

Monday
The new trading week kicks off with a signature box from Tiffany (NYSE:TIF). The upscale jeweler has already braced investors for the worst heading into Monday's fourth-quarter report. The retailer announced a brutal 24% decline in worldwide comps over the holidays, with an even sharper drop-off domestically.

Analysts still see Tiffany posting a profit. They expect earnings to clock in at $0.80 a share, well off the $1.27 a share it earned a year earlier. I'll believe it when I see it. A chain doesn't get slammed on comps without some serious margin deterioration. It should definitely be profitable, but don't be surprised if it misses Wall Street's mark on Monday morning.

Tuesday
Carnival
(NYSE:CCL) sails in on Tuesday. The leading cruise line operator should benefit from lower fuel prices, but everyone knows that folks aren't paying for cruise cabins the way they used to. The end result is that analysts see quarterly earnings falling by 40% to $0.18 a share. Given the market's recent winning ways, it will be interesting to see how future bookings have been trending.

Wednesday
There's a great bellwether earnings report on the slate for Wednesday. You probably don't own -- or even care about -- Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX), but tune in. As a leader in payroll processing, the company's report should shed some light on workforce trends. We've all seen the parade of layoff announcements. Are some companies hiring, too?

Thursday
Best Buy
(NYSE:BBY) and GameStop (NYSE:GME) check in on Thursday. Now that Circuit City has completed its liquidation, are consumer electronics shoppers flocking over to Best Buy? Can GameStop hold up against the onslaught of online and offline retailers jumping into the company's used game trade-in market? These two niche retailers will certainly have a lot of questions to answer.

Friday
The week closes quietly, as it often does. The trickle of earnings reports will come mostly from overseas companies like Aracruz Celulose (NYSE:ARA). The Brazilian pulp and paper giant probably isn't too happy about newspapers going exclusively online and traditional mail and documents being replaced by paperless Web solutions. Analysts see a lot of red ink in the company's latest quarter. I guess that's what redwood trees are for. (That's a joke. Honestly.)

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

Paychex is a Motley Fool Income Investor selection. Best Buy and Paychex are Motley Fool Inside Value picks. Best Buy and GameStop are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. The Fool owns shares of Best Buy. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, 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 newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.