What to Watch on Wall St. This Week: 2 Speedy Earnings, 1 Spidey Opening
1. Spider-Man Spins a Sticky Web: There won't be a lot of market activity during the holiday-shortened trading week, but you can be sure that all eyes will be on Sony come Tuesday, when The Amazing Spider-Man opens. It's a fresh reboot for the series, with new actors replacing of the stars of the first three movies that served Sony (SNE) so well over the past decade.
Movies rarely open on a Tuesday, but given the Independence Day holiday on Wednesday and the fact that a lot of young adults are soaking in the summer splendor, Sony's timing couldn't be better.
Another company hoping that folks are still hungry for more Spidey action is IMAX (IMAX). The company will be showing the movie on many of its supersized screens. It's been a good year for IMAX, as moviegoers apparently don't have a problem paying a few bucks more to see a movie on its jumbo platform.
2. Talladega Nights: There's something about seeing fast cars cycle repeatedly through a familiar course at lightning speed -- or at least that's what fans of International Speedway (ISCA) say.
The motorsports promoter is the company that owns the Talladega and Daytona speedways, and several other historic tracks.
This may be one of the quietest weeks of the year as far as earnings reports go, but International Speedway is going to wave the checkered flag as it gives shareholders a glimpse into its latest financials. Analysts see International Speedway posting a profit of $0.40 a share, just ahead of the $0.26 a share it earned a year earlier.
3. Xyratex marks the spot: Another company sharing the quiet earnings stage with International Speedway on Thursday is Xyratex (XRTX).
Xyratex has blown past Wall Street's profit targets in each of the past three quarters, beating analyst projections by at least 54% each time. That's a welcome trend heading into Thursday's report. The market's holding out for a profit of $0.28 a share.
Sure, last year's fiscal second quarter was a disappointment, but this is a company with bullish momentum.
4. Savages, I tell you: It's not just Spider-Man hoping to spice up the box office this week, though it's understandable that most movie studios tried to steer clear of this holiday week. The Amazing Spider-Man is going to fill theaters, and the best hope that some of Sony's rivals will have this week is to lure in audience members from the crowds who arrive to find Spidey screenings sold out.
However, there is a Katy Perry musical documentary hitting theaters Thursday. On Friday, a more conventional flick -- Savages -- opens.
Oliver Stone's movie is a drug-lord thriller starring Salma Hayek, John Travolta, and Benicio del Toro. The movie's R rating will help it attract an older crowd than the audiences gathering for Spider-Man, but there's little doubt that when the box office receipts are tallied, the week will belong to the web-slinging photographer.
5. Happy Fourth of July: The market is closed Wednesday as it observes the country's Independence Day holiday, and having a day off smack-dab in the middle of the week is going to keep trading activity throughout the week relatively light.
Sure, the market may start hopping if something newsworthy happens. However, there are no major conferences slated like we had last week when Google (GOOG) showed off its upcoming tablet and social sharing gizmo. So enjoy the day and the week. Be safe in handling fireworks and BBQ grills.
Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool has sold shares of Sony short and owns shares of Google. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of IMAX, Google, and International Speedway.