Wall Street this Week: Surprises in Store for Retailers

Abercrombie & Fitch
Abercrombie & Fitch

It's going to be a busy week for retailers as more than a dozen publicly traded chains offer up their latest quarterly financials.

Shopping's a popular diversion in this country, but don't assume that crowded mall parking lots are translating into blowout results for major retailers.

Saks (SKS) on Tuesday, Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) on Wednesday, and Bonton Stores (BONT) and Buckle (BKE) on Thursday are all expected to post lower quarterly profits than they did during the same period a year earlier.

%Gallery-142903%It's not just fashionistas on strike. Video game buffs are expected to see diehard gamer hub GameStop (GME) post a slide in net sales and profitability on Thursday.

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Where are the shoppers heading? Well, proving that we may not be entirely out of these recessionary woods, many of the chains that give buyers more bang for their bucks should do well. Marshalls and TJ Maxx parent TJX (TJX) on Tuesday, PetSmart (PETM) on Wednesday, and Dollar Tree (DLTR) and Wal-Mart (WMT) on Thursday are all projected to improve on last year's profitability this week.

Shoppers are flocking to where the bargains are, and that's where investors should be headed as well.

Other Stocks Worth Watching

  • Staples (SPLS) is pounding the "easy" button on Thursday, giving the market a great glimpse at the state of office supplies. It's a pretty important report. If small businesses are ordering more toner cartridges and file cabinets -- a good sign for the state of Corporate America -- we'll see it in the Staples report.

  • Home Depot (HD) is another company to keep an eye on. The home improvement superstore chain reports on Tuesday. Just as Staples offers a great look at how small companies are doing, Home Depot's performance will show whether homeowners are starting to spruce up their digs again. There's plenty to glean from orange aprons.

Longtime Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz does not own shares in any of the stocks in this article. The Motley Fool owns shares of GameStop, Staples, and The Buckle. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Staples, The Buckle, The Home Depot, and PetSmart. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended writing covered calls on GameStop.

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