Market Movers This Week: Wintry Earnings and iRadio Buzz
1. Turn up the iRadio: Apple (AAPL) has been surprisingly absent from the streaming music revolution, but that may be about to change. Investors kicked off the new trading week with reports that Apple finally negotiated a deal with Warner Music, paving the way for the long overdue rollout of Apple's iRadio service.
Initial reports suggest that Apple isn't likely to announce anything this week. It has its annual developers conference next week, and that will likely be the moment when the consumer tech giant makes its streaming music service official.
However, you can probably expect a week of speculation about the service. Will it be free? Will it be only available through a paid subscription? Will Apple be able to strike deals with all of the major labels in time? June is going to be an important month for Apple, and it all starts now.
2. Tuesday Goes for Blackjack: Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1.2 percent lower during the holiday-shortened trading week, but the market still managed to move higher on Tuesday. That's important because it means that the Dow has now closed higher for 20 Tuesdays in a row.
Yes, that's an unusually long streak. You actually have to back to 1968 -- when the Dow moved higher for 24 consecutive Wednesdays -- to find the last time that the market kept closing higher for more weeks on the same weekday.
This week will be a challenging one. The late May selloff and the "sell in May and go away" crowd may be working against the market's favorable momentum. If the popular index that tracks 30 blue chips closes lower on Tuesday it will be the end to a pretty impressive streak that's unlikely to be repeated anytime soon.
3. Getting a Good Night's Sleep: With new home sales up and low refinancing rates motivating homeowners to spruce up their properties, home improvement industries are thriving: So if you're making your house more comfortable in other ways, how about replacing your lumpy old mattress?
4. Retailers on Parade: How did your favorite clothing or department store do last month? Many leading chains will be reporting their same-store sales for the month of May later in the week.
It won't be the only snapshot that we get about the state of retail. Several publicly traded retailers also happen to be reporting their latest quarterly results this week. Quiksilver (ZQK), Dollar General (DG), rue21 (RUE), and Francesca's Holdings (FRAN) are some of the specialty apparel companies reporting this week.
In concert, the reports will provide a fair overview of the retail industry because they do appeal to different demographics. Quiksilver sells outdoor sports apparel to a younger extreme sports crowd. Dollar General is a deep discounter. Francesca's and rue21 target fashion-forward women shoppers. Don't read too much into one hit or miss. Watch for the more important trend of where the chains combined are reporting updated financials that are better or worse than the market is expecting.
5. Hitting the Slopes: We're wrapping up what many ski resorts call mud season. This is the springtime shift as snow starts to melt, and many of the seasonal resorts wait for the slushy mud to turn to inviting lush greens for golfers, hikers, and other summer travelers.
This doesn't mean that investors should ignore Vail Resorts (MTN) when it reports its latest financials on Thursday. This is actually the Colorado ski resort operator's biggest quarter covering the snow-blessed months of February, March and April. Analysts see Vail Resorts posting 42 percent of its revenue and more than double its earnings for the entire fiscal year. Yes, Vail Resorts is expected to post a quarterly profit that is twice as large as its annual profit -- because historically, it has lost money during the two warm-weather quarters.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Vail Resorts. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.