Summer is heating up, but it's only getting hotter over the next few weeks.
Eye the calendar, and you will find some meaty corporate events that may very well shape the market. Here are a few of the days that I plan to approach with eyes wide open.
Satellite radio lands on the earnings calendar come Wednesday morning. Sirius XM Radio
We already know that the satellite-radio provider closed out its second quarter with 583,249 more subscribers than it started with, and billions of shares outstanding make it difficult to blow away results on the bottom line.
However, there may be some new insights on Howard Stern's five-year contract that runs out in December. There could also be room for higher conversion rates and lower churn if consumers continue to warm up to premium radio.
It may be weeks before the real NFL season starts, but that's a mere technicality as Electronic Arts
EA has been at it for 22 years, cashing in on fans of the football game that seem to snap up the annual updates to stay abreast of roster changes and enhanced game features.
Unfortunately, the franchise is fumbling more than the Minnesota Vikings did during last year's NFC championship game. Initial sales of Madden NFL 10 clocked in 15% below the previous year's installment. Was it just a recessionary lull, or are gamers on to the ruse that separates them from $60 every summer? Did John Madden's retirement last year affect his branded franchise with EA Sports?
We'll have answers in the coming weeks. The way the video game industry has been languishing since early last year, EA really needs to score this time.
If you only had a single earnings report to gauge the state of Corporate America, Cisco
Analysts see revenue growing 27% to $10.9 billion with earnings climbing slightly higher.
Cisco has posted year-over-year profit improvement in each of the two previous quarters, so this is more about confirmation than validation. It still bears watching, especially if Cisco lands above or below market expectations.
Thrifty shoppers will have their pulse taken when Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer, and its discount department stores are typically portrayed as being recession-proof. When money's tight, shoppers trade down from traditional department stores. When money's plentiful, discretionary income always loves getting more bang for its greenback buck.
TJX's Marshalls and T.J. Maxx specialize in marked-down apparel, and the retailer has actually held up better than Wal-Mart during some stretches of this economic lull. Together, the two chains will be able to paint a fuller portrait of the discounting space and shopping patterns.
Where's your tablet, Hewlett-Packard
HP will be reporting its quarterly results, but there will likely be more than a few questions about its Slate -- especially now that it's been spotted as a Windows-powered tablet on the company's own website. There is also the company's recent Palmpad trademark request, leading many to speculate that HP will be attacking the Apple's
Since this is the company's first quarterly conference call since completing its purchase of Palm, HP may provide a little more color as to its plans for Palm's webOS -- above and beyond the Palmpad trademark.
What are you looking forward to this month? Check in with your expectations in the comment box below.