went out on a limb last week, and now it's time to see how that decision played out.

  • I predicted that SodaStream (NASDAQ:SODA) would move higher on the week. The company behind the beverage platform that fizzes up flat water had hit a two-year low, and it seemed as if it was due for a pop, no pun intended. It didn't happen The stock slipped 4%, fueled in part by KeyBanc lowering its profit targets for the company. I was wrong.
  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) seemed to be coming under pressure with earnings season getting under way with a lot of companies offering problematic preliminary results. In this iffy climate it seemed as if the best bet was to predict that the Dow would close lower on the week. It didn't. I was wrong.
  • My final call was for SanDisk (UNKNOWN:SNDK.DL) to beat Wall Street's income estimates in its latest quarter. The flash memory giant had beaten analyst targets consistently over the past few quarters, and I was banking on a repeat performance. We saw it close out the quarter with a profit of $1.41 a share. Analysts had been projecting net income of $1.39 a share. SanDisk shares slipped on weak guidance, but at least it was a beat on the bottom line. I was right.

One out of three? Ouch! I need to get back on track after three bad weeks of prognostications. 

Let me once again whip out my trusty, dusty, and occasionally accurate crystal ball to make three calls that may play out over the next few trading days.

1. Baidu will hit an all-time high
Shares of Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) hit an all-time high of $193.89 on July 2. It has failed to surpass that mark over the past 11 trading days. It has come close, but the new trading week should afford it the perfect opportunity to set a new high-water mark. It reports earnings on Thursday, and it wouldn't be a surprise to see investors push Baidu to new highs either before or after the report.

My first call is for Baidu to hit a new all-time high during the week.

2. The Dow will close lower this week
Calling for the Dow to slide during a seemingly iffy week of earnings was a bad call last week. Even the tragic downing of the Malaysian passenger plane didn't sour the market's spirits for too long. I'm still not sold that the Dow's climb last week in light of warnings from so many companies earlier this month is justified. I'll repeat this prediction. My second call is for the Dow to close lower for the week.

3. Facebook will beat Wall Street's earnings estimates
Some stocks are just flat-out better than others. 

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is the company behind the leading social-networking website, with 1.28 billion monthly active users. Another thing it does is make analysts look like perpetual underachievers. If analysts say the company rang up a profit of $0.32 a share in its latest quarter, I'll argue that it held up better than that. History's on my side!

One of my best tricks to beating the market is finding stocks that perpetually land ahead of the prognosticators. Let's go over the past year of earnings reports.


EPS Estimate



Q2 2013




Q3 2013




Q4 2013




Q1 2014




Source: Thomson Reuters.

Things can change, of course. User growth has been decelerating at Facebook, and while revenue has been growing a lot faster as Facebook gets better at milking more revenue out of page views, that can always change. 

That's all stuff to keep in mind down the road, but not now. Everything seems to be falling into place for another market-thumping quarter on the bottom line.