Cheap trips and steep dips, iPods and Harley hogs -- they'll all rule the week that lies ahead. Let's take a closer look.

After spurning a pair of different buyout offers over the past three years, Circuit City (NYSE:CC) is ready to try its hand at playing the old maid. After rebuffing advances for a mere $8 a stub back in 2003, the company earlier this year turned down an acquisition offer at $17 a share. That may be vindicating, but the pressure is now on for the consumer electronics giant to earn its choice of independence.

With its stock down to $15.59, Circuit City will need to produce some healthy financial results to convince shareholders -- and it won't be easy -- that it did the right thing by stiffing another suitor. The results should be decent on Monday, given that it will be reporting its results from the period covering the Christmas season. The company wraps up its fiscal years with a quarterly profit, yet the company's outlook as it enters fiscal 2006 will be critical. Will Circuit City be able to turn a profit during any period other than its holiday quarter? It hasn't done so in a couple of years. Now that it has taken itself off the market, investors will expect big things.

It's been wild at Travelzoo (NASDAQ:TZOO). The online travel specialist best known for its top-20 list of vacation planning specials has been caging up bulls and bears alike over the past year. Last year, it led investors from a low of $7.50 to a peak of $110 over the holidays before coming undone. It has surrendered more than half of those gains in recent months.

Back in January, the company saw earnings nearly quadruple as the top line doubled. It did miss Wall Street's profit targets, though its 36.5% showing in pre-tax profit margins was impressive. Now we get a new quarterly report on Tuesday as well as clearer indication as to where the stock is headed. Will it feed the bears or the bulls? The only thing that is nearly certain is that the travel specialist will see its stock traveling around even more -- one way or the other -- in the coming days.

When you think about two brands that inspire customer loyalty, you can't do much better than the one-two punch of Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HDI) and Apple Computer (NASDAQ:AAPL). They both just happen to be producing their quarterly numbers midweek. In Harley, you have a long-term winner. If you had invested $1,000 in the company back in 1987, you would be sitting on nearly $150,000 today.

Apple's big gains have come more recently, on the strength of its iPod products -- a product that has helped renew interest in the company's core computer products and has turned Apple into a digital-music leader. These are exciting times for Apple -- and Harley-Davidson investors aren't too far away from hog heaven, either.

For decades, Southwest (NYSE:LUV) has been the beauty queen in a sector where most of the other contestants are just butt-ugly. Yet the company, with its fleet of 737 flying machines, has seen its stock stuck in the teens over the past few years. What's the problem? Earlier this year, Bill Mann took a look at the company's gradual decline in operating efficiency in recent years. It hasn't helped that a new breed of somewhat attractive low-fare carriers have started to join the contest. Thursday's first-quarter report will give us a clearer indication of whether Southwest is ascending or whether the descent continues.

If General Electric (NYSE:GE) really does bring good things to life, it will get a chance to prove it on Friday. The conglomerate is an investor favorite -- it made it all the way to the third round in our recent Stock Madness 2005 tournament -- but the stock is trading essentially where it was three years ago. Life after former CEO Jack Welch has posed challenges for the company that dabbles in everything from financial services to jet engines to television broadcasting. Let's see how GE answers the call.

Want to learn more about the companies waiting to report earnings this week? Check out:

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders whether there is any kind of correlation between Harley and iPod owners. He can imagine the playlist. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story.The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.