It's going to be a busy week with companies you know chiming in with their quarterly earnings and some economic news of note looking to get posted. As investors, we have little choice but to take the market day by day.

Placing a signature swoosh on its fiscal 2005 checklist, athletic footwear giant Nike (NYSE:NKE) will kick off the morning with its first-quarter results. Expectations are running high for the brand beast after its profits this past year sprinted ahead by 27% as Nike earned $3.51 a share. Can it keep up the pace? Just do it!

The Federal Reserve will also start its critical Federal Open Market Committee meeting. While you won't be able to tune in, the Fed will be weighing the direction it wants to steer interest rates based on how it perceives the strength of the economy while playing lion tamer with a furry growling critter called inflation. Yes, Alan Greenspan and his bespectacled crew of data crunchers are a powerful lot.

May the force -- and $69.98 in pocket change -- be with you as Fox (NYSE:FOX) releases the eagerly anticipated Star Wars trilogy on DVD. I won't ruin the ending for you. The imposing Darth Vader may or may not be Luke's father. Yet this four-disc epic promises to be the mother of all DVD releases. While the George Lucas classics have previously been made available on VHS cassettes, that was a long time ago in a fading video platform far, far away. Now if only we could do something about those plush and puffy Ewoks!

Cereal buffs (and I know I can't be the only one) will be rubbing their Lucky Charms when General Mills (NYSE:GIS) cracks open a box of quarterly results. Will there be a surprise inside? Probably not. Food companies tend to be steady and predictable performers. However, if there is a welcome boost in the bowl you can always turn to the company's popcorn brand -- Pop Secret -- for inspiration.

Headline writers everywhere will tire of repeating "FedEx (NYSE:FDX) Delivers Earnings," but it fits as the speedy letter and parcel shipper will ask you to sign for its fiscal first-quarter report. The company closed out fiscal 2004 by earning $3.52 a share, a healthy 28% improvement over the previous year's showing. Yes, those numbers are eerily similar to Nike's performance, but let's go ahead and squash any rumor that the company is simply having Nike's figures sent over by FedEx and improved upon.

The U.S. Leading Indicators for the month of August will be revealed. By tapping into the way some measures are trending, economists are able to determine whether the financial health of the country is improving or deteriorating. Will it ultimately matter if all you really care about is how you will juggle your Survivor and The Apprentice viewing tonight? Perhaps. You would hate to see an economist snuff out your tiki torch and mutter "You're fired!" because business isn't doing so hot.

If you loaded up on wookies on Tuesday how about rookies on Thursday? Trading card leader Topps (NASDAQ:TOPP) will share the earnings stage with others such as apparel retailer Limited (NYSE:LTD) and drugstore chain Rite Aid (NYSE:RAD). While Topps isn't just about card collectors loading up on all of the hot baseball rookies, its Bazooka bubble gum and Ring Pop candy lines play a minor role when stacked up against the company's flagship trading card business.

The August figures for domestic durable goods orders and existing home sales will be made public. Let's take a look at each one of those gauges separately. A durable good isn't that vase that you have miraculously been unable to break. It's just about any vehicle or appliance or sturdy big-ticket item. An uptick in orders means that factories will keep their smokestacks puffing and your uncle fully employed in coming months to keep up with the demand. As for how well existing homes are selling, interest rates may play a key role in how busy moving companies were back in August, but it ultimately speaks of our general optimism or pessimism about the present state of the economy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz can do a pretty dead-on Yoda impersonation. Ask him now, you will. He doesn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article.