What to Watch on Wall Street This Week: Earning and Upgrades
Monday -- Bank on It: We're just getting started with earnings season, but Monday will be relatively quiet on that front.
One of the few companies kicking off the week with fresh financials will be Wintrust (WTFC), a financial holding company with $18 billion in assets. It operates 15 different community bank subsidiaries with 100 different locations. It may not be the same kind of snapshot of the financial industry that we got this past Friday when bigger banks reported, but we can't ignore the importance of community banks in gauging the state of the economic turnaround.
Tuesday -- Pop Stars: Coca-Cola (KO) reports on Tuesday, and if that isn't enough we will have PepsiCo (PEP) checking in on Wednesday.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Coke and Pepsi have been battling one another for years, but in some ways, they're united against common adversaries these days. Between the growing popularity of making sodas at home, and critics taking them on over the health implications of consuming too many sugary (or artificially sweetened) drinks, it's a whole different kind of cola war these days.
Investors looking for growth may want to look elsewhere. Analysts see Pepsi's revenue inching just 2 percent higher when it reports. It's worse for Coca-Cola, with Wall Street targeting a 2 percent decline in sales.
Wednesday -- Paypal Day: eBay (EBAY) reports its third quarter results on Wednesday.
There was a time when eBay was strictly an online flea market, but these days we're seeing PayPal become a bigger part of the model. Yes, eBay also owns PayPal, the most popular way to settle online transactions outside of plastic. PayPal has started to expand its reach into traditional retailers, making it possible for someone to check out at a physical storefront using PayPal.
Analysts see revenue and earnings growing by 15 percent for the quarter, and it's a fair bet that PayPal will be the one carrying the company again this period.
Thursday -- Microsoft Gets a Do Over: It's been a year since Microsoft (MSFT) rolled out Windows 8. The operating system -- built from the ground up with tablets and other touch-screen experiences in mind -- was supposed to breathe new life into the struggling PC industry.
It fell short.
PC sales have fallen every quarter since the Windows 8 roll out, and while the software giant has sold a ton of licenses, users have had mixed feelings about the platform. Windows 8.1 will be available online on Thursday as an upgrade, tackling many of the customization flaws in the original version. A hard copy of the software will be available at retailers a day later.
It may not be enough to rescue the PC industry, but at least it will give computer users something different to kick around.
Friday -- Another Kindle is Born: There will be Surfaces, iPads, and other tablets hitting the market later this month, but on Friday we get to see Amazon.com's (AMZN) latest toy when the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX hits the market.
Amazon is pricing the new device aggressively, as it did for its previous models. Despite a rich spec sheet, the Kindle Fire HDX starts at just $229. Amazon isn't out to turn a profit on the hardware. It knows that the real money waits in the digital downloads that can be purchased through its ecosystem.
A neat feature here is Mayday, through which visual tech support will be available for free. Techies won't be able to see you through the tablet's camera, but they will be able to see what you're doing and tackle what ails your Kindle Fire. Let's hope that the early adopters don't abuse the perk.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, eBay, and PepsiCo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, eBay, Microsoft, and PepsiCo. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.