If you follow this weekly column, you know the drill. On Friday, I cover seven companies that Wall Street expects to post lower earnings than they did a year earlier. I come back on Monday,  to serve up seven stocks that are projected to grow their bottom lines.

Well, we have a problem. There aren't seven companies targeted to post higher profits this week. As a result of the holiday-shortened trading week, the downtime between earnings seasons, and the crummy economy, I can't even offer you half of the column you usually see on Mondays.

However, if you've followed me this far -- and noticed that the headline reads the same as it has in previous weeks -- you know I have something up my sleeve.

Why should earnings growth stories be the only thing to look forward to this week? There are a lot of potentially positive developments that may play out over the next few days.

1. The doggies in the window
Window dressing is a visual treat at some department stores, but it's a despicable practice in the realm of money management. Some portfolio managers snap up the quarter's hottest stocks by the end of the period -- including some of this year's biggest surprises, such as Palm (NASDAQ:PALM) -- just in time to send investors a snapshot of their holdings.

Sure, investors should be smart enough to judge a fund by its actual returns, but the upside is that the window dressing may help prop up the shares of some of the quarter's biggest winners.

2. June 30, revisited
Tuesday will be a good day for honest money managers, too. It will mark the end of what will probably be one of the market's best quarters in a long time. Right now, the Nasdaq Composite is sitting on a 20% gain since the end of March. The S&P 500 isn't too far behind, with a 15% spurt.

Things are going to look sweet for the mutual fund industry when companies update their marketing materials. The updates  won't be enough to wipe away last year's debacle, but trailing-12-month returns will benefit by replacing the market's negative returns during the second quarter of 2008 with the robust run we're having now.

That scenario might help Legg Mason (NYSE:LM), which has the misfortune of running some of last year's worst-performing funds. Bill Miller's iconic Legg Mason Value Trust was one of the fund family's offerings that got smacked around last year, and it has soared 28% higher over the past three months.

3. Bernie's day of reckoning is here
Bernard Madoff just got handed his prison sentence this morning. Now we can finally bury the ugly Ponzi scheme that has jarred the psyches of wealthy investors.  

As long as we've learned our lessons about being more vigilant and questioning consistently superior results, it's now time to graduate from the school of hard knocks and move on.

4. Lights! Camera! Multiplex action!
Multiplex operators are braced for big crowds this week. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Public Enemies open on Wednesday, and exhibitors already have a few early summer blockbusters to make sure the box office is hopping over the holiday weekend.

Movie theaters are trending ahead of where they were last year, and this is good investing news for more than just the publicly traded chains such as Regal (NYSE:RGC) and Cinemark (NYSE:CNK). Since most multiplexes are surrounded by restaurants and retail centers, a hot summer of movies can be just the ticket to breathe new life into moribund eateries and stores.

5. We're already braced for moribund market metrics
We'll find out about June's auto-sales numbers on Wednesday and the month's jobless rate on Thursday. The news will probably be ugly, but every storm cloud has a silver lining. Mr. Market is already braced for grim news on these fronts, so the discounts are already in place.

6. There is still growth to be found
Even though there aren't seven companies positioned to post bottom-line buoyancy this week, there are at least two bellwethers projected to grow:


Latest Quarter's EPS (Estimated)

Year-Ago Quarter's EPS

Apollo Group (NASDAQ:APOL)



General Mills (NYSE:GIS)



Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Online educator Apollo Group and breakfast titan General Mills should improve on last year's profitability. See? Growth isn't dead.

7. Happy Fourth of July
Unless the footage doesn't prove sufficiently graphic, Nathan's Famous (NASDAQ:NATH) always generates a great deal of publicity during its annual hot dog eating contest at Coney Island on Independence Day.

So what are you so worried about? It's OK to enjoy the week leading to the Independence Day holiday weekend.

Some other reads to get you through the week:

The Fool owns shares of Legg Mason, which is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz prefers to look at the bright side of life -- and strife. He owns no shares in any of the companies in this story and 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.