A busy trading week kicks off with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) posting its fiscal-first-quarter results. Apple routinely tops Wall Street guesstimates, so even though analysts are banking on a 16% rise in earnings, to $2.07 a share, it's likely that the actual numbers will be even higher. 

Apple will be a hot topic throughout the week, since it is widely expected to introduce its anxiously anticipated tablet computer just two days later.

Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) reports on Tuesday, no doubt falling further behind in the search engine race. Analysts see year-over-year dips in revenue and net income, unlike its Big G nemesis, which posted healthy advances on both ends of the income statement on Thursday.

Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT), Valero Energy (NYSE:VLO), and Regis (NYSE:RGS) are three of the companies expected to post lower earnings on Wednesday. If the economy has truly turned the corner, one would think that agricultural equipment, energy, and hair salons would be holding up better than that.

Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) is just one of the major pharmaceuticals stepping up to the counter for its quarterly update. With health-care reform running into resistance, it will be interesting to see what the drugmakers think about this.

Toymaker Mattel (NYSE:MAT) wraps up the trading week with its holiday quarter report. Mattel has hit a few rough patches over the past couple of years. Between the lead-paint recalls and missing out on having the hot seasonal toy, the world's largest maker of playthings hasn't had it easy.

Friday should be better for Mattel, though. The pros see a quarterly profit of $0.68 a share, well ahead of the $0.49 a share it delivered a year ago.

Until next week, I remain,
Rick Munarriz

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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.