The new trading week kicks off with Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) on the firing range. Analysts see the gunmaker's earnings improving to $0.09 a share in its latest quarter. Fears of tighter regulation on new weapon sales and crime spikes in recessionary times have resulted in brisk business for companies like Smith & Wesson.

Some of the companies expected to post lower quarterly results on this day include Jabil Circuit (NYSE:JBL) and America's Car-Mart (NASDAQ:CRMT). The used car retailer's shrinking profit is a bit of a surprise. Yes, auto sales stink, but America's Car-Mart has thrived in this tight credit environment by offering cheap cars with feasible financing. It posted increases in revenue, earnings, and same-store sales just three months ago.

Bellwethers that bear watching today include Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) and Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY). Because Paychex is a payroll giant, its performance will hopefully provide a welcome glimpse into hiring trends. The home-goods superstore chain, on the other hand, will shed some light on consumer sentiment regarding sprucing up their homes.

Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) readers? This is the day for you. Forget the numbers. Wall Street sees the company losing roughly three times as much as it did during the same quarter a year earlier. The real reason to tune in to Palm's report is to get a feel for how its revolutionary Palm Pre is selling since it hit stores two weeks ago.

The trading week closes with KB Home's (NYSE:KBH) open house. Like so many other homebuilders that have announced results in recent weeks, KB Home is expected to post a sharply smaller deficit than it did a year ago. Savvy investors will look beyond the bottom line, keying in on important metrics like order cancellations, new contracts, and a backlog of homes to hand over.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Bed Bath & Beyond is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Bed Bath & Beyond and Paychex are Motley Fool Inside Value selections. Paychex is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation. 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.