Week in Preview: Retail Sales, Consumer Credit, Earnings

What's on tap for next week? Consumer credit numbers, retail sales data, trade balance data and earnings .Yes, the unemployment rate sank below 9% in February, but investors didn't seem to be impressed by that data. The Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 all fell on Friday -- over concerns about how the ongoing unrest in the Middle East might affect energy prices, and thus the economic recovery.

So is there anything on this coming week's economic calendar likely to bring excitement to the markets? Here's what's on tap:

Retail sales are expected to be higher on rising fuel prices and strong auto sales, which may also boost the consumer credit numbers. But rising energy prices could also prove to be a damper on consumer confidence.

On the Earnings Front

Here's a glance at what analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are expecting from quarterly reports scheduled for this week:

  • Canadian Solar (CSIQ): Q4 EPS of 65 cents (+46.2% yoy) on $417.6 million (+45.5%) in revenue
  • Diamond Foods (DMND): Q2 EPS of 89 cents (+46.1%) on $265.1 million (+44.%) in revenue
  • Boston Beer (SAM): Q4 EPS of 90 cents (+42.2%) on $118.5 million (+10.6%) in revenue
  • Analogic (ALOG): Q2 EPS of 45 cents (+35.6%) on $109.6 million (+6.1%) in revenue
  • Casey's General Stores (CASY): Q3 EPS of 50 cents (+32.%) on $1.3 billion (+15.4%) in revenue
  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEO): Q4 EPS of 43 cents (+23.3%) on $993.0 million (-5.%) in revenue
  • Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS): Q4 EPS of 72 cents (+22.2%) on $1.5 billion (+8.6%) in revenue
  • Vail Resorts (MTN): Q2 EPS of $1.38 (+19.6%) on $373.0 million (+24.1%) in revenue
  • Urban Outfitters (URBN): Q4 EPS of 52 cents (+13.5%) on $674.9 million (+14.7%) in revenue
  • National Semiconductor (NSM): Q3 EPS of 24 cents (+8.3%) on $353.9 million (-2.2%) in revenue
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Of the above companies, Canadian Solar, Diamond Foods, Dick's, Casey's, Vail Resorts and Urban Outfitters have First Call buy recommendations -- but only Diamond Foods, Dick's, Urban Outfitters and National Semiconductor have regularly topped consensus earnings estimates in the past four quarters. Shares of Analogic, Dick's and National Semiconductor are near their 52-week highs.

Others expected to report growth in earnings from a year ago include Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), Brown-Forman (BF.B), Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ), Jo-Ann Stores (JAS), Kronos Worldwide (KRO), Pall Corp. (PLL) and Smithfield Foods (SFD). But analysts expect to see quarterly losses from Ciena (CIEN), Coldwater Creek (CWTR) and Men's Wearhouse (MW).
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