The market took a beating in the third quarter, but October gives us a brand new slate as we kick off the fourth quarter.
Let's go over a few of the upcoming days to watch.
The day that Apple
There are plenty of reasons to tune in. The smartphone is already several months late. It's widely expected that Sprint will become the third stateside carrier to offer the iPhone. LTE and NFC appear to be DOA, but Apple always has a welcome surprise or two in the works.
It will also be Tim Cook's first time in the iPhone spotlight as Apple's now permanent CEO, so his marketing chops will be heavily scrutinized.
It also only adds to the drama that Android continues to gain market share as the smartphone platform of choice in this country. Adding a third, cheaper carrier will clearly help -- but will it be enough?
Bank of America
The parade of "too big to fail" banks reporting earnings usually attracts little more than groans from the anti-TARP crowd, but Bank of America is stirring things up with its decision to begin charging debit card holders who use their plastic for purchases $5 a month.
Bank of America wasn't the first banking giant to turn to its clients after new regulations capped what they can charge merchants, however it just happens to be the loudest.
Another company that has been in the news lately that will be reporting fresh financials on Oct. 18 is Yahoo!
Investors won't be interested to see if Yahoo! is growing its display advertising business or if it has any needle-moving acquisitions on the horizon. After Carol Bartz was dismissed as CEO last month, most of the chatter now revolves around maximizing shareholder value by either putting the company up for sale or cashing in on its valuable Asian investments.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is on the menu come Oct. 20 with its third-quarter results.
The burrito roller has been a market darling over the years, but there are two barbacoa-beefy reasons to check up on the quick-service chain this time around.
Chipotle opened its first ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen last month. Applying its proven assembly line prep style to more exotic Asian flavors is a bold move, and Chipotle is likely to discuss its early performance during the call. Chipotle's namesake concept is growing just fine, so it doesn't need a sister concept to take the baton, but it wouldn't hurt to have another winner in its expansion arsenal.
The other reason to check up on Chipotle is that it pulled up lame three months ago. In a rare quarterly miss, Chipotle earned less than analysts were expecting. Rising food costs ate into its previously expanding margins, and the company didn't kick in with menu pricing adjustments until the current quarter began.
Is traffic holding up despite the new prices? Are margins widening again? Only Chipotle knows -- for now.
EA's Battlefield 3 won't be as big as Activision Blizzard's
This is by design. As the industry's top dog, Activision Blizzard has historically gone with an early November release date for its flagship series, giving it a leg up in time for the critical holiday shopping season. Then again, gamers aren't exactly known for their patience.
We should be covering all of these events as they happen, so stay close by adding these stocks to My Watchlist.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Activision Blizzard, Bank of America, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Yahoo!, and Apple. The Fool owns shares of and has written calls on Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Yahoo!, and Activision Blizzard. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a bull call spread position in Apple.
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