Set aside the images of fireworks lighting up the sky that you typically associate with the month of July. When it comes to investing, summer is usually more like the laid-back barbecues and lazy slices of apple pie that you may also associate with Independence Day.
Don't sleep through July!
There will be plenty of events taking place this month, and a lot of them should move the market. Sure, earnings season kicks in toward the month's end, but there are also plenty of other dates on the calendar that pose challenges, threats, and -- investors can hope -- opportunities.
Here are a few of the days that I plan to approach with eyes wide open.
If you're hoping for a cheap -- and legal -- copy of Microsoft's
A lot is riding on Windows 7. Vista has been the butt of operating-system jokes, especially in Apple's
It's a good sign for Microsoft that the pre-orders -- at least so far -- have been selling briskly.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince becomes Time Warner's
Box-office receipts are trending ahead of where they were a year ago, so momentum is on Time Warner's side. However, there's also a busy slate of rival flicks hitting exhibitors this summer. Can Harry Potter's spell over audiences continue?
Fridays are typically sleepy days on the news front. Few companies want to test shareholders' mettle by delivering quarterly reports heading into the weekend. However, three meaty stocks with plenty to prove -- Bank of America
All three stocks started out the year as Dow components, until Citigroup was booted last month. They have a few other things in common:
- They were all trading in the single digits before the March rally kicked in.
- They have all sharply slashed their dividends over the past year.
- They have more than doubled off their lows, placing even more pressure for the companies to earn their recent gains in two weeks.
The last thing that Sirius XM Radio
However, that didn't stop Sirius XM from bumping up its rates on discounted secondary receivers in the same family in March. It also began charging for online streaming, which in Sirius XM's defense was accompanied by an upgrade in the quality of its Web-based offering.
Sirius XM is allowed to make these adjustments. It's also entitled to pass along on any music royalty fee increases -- and it will do just that when monthly rates go up by $1.98 on July 29.
That increase is going to become a huge test for the satellite-radio operator. Subscriber growth peaked during last year's fourth quarter, when Sirius XM watched over more than 19 million receivers. It closed out the March quarter with just 18.6 million subscribers.
Will the July increase shake out even more subscribers, or will it be a cash flow dream as fans pony up for long-term commitments to lock in the current rates?
Things can cut either way, so join me in making sure you're wide awake this month.
Some other reads to get you through the month:
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns a Miranda July CD, but he doesn't own the month of July. He also doesn't own shares in any of the stocks in this story, but he is part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.