You can never know in advance all the news that will move the market in a given week, but some things you can see coming. From the roll-out of a highly anticipated video game to the new iPhones getting into customers' hands, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.
Monday -- Hot IPO, Coming Through: You can make a cozy living getting people together even if you aren't running a dating website. Cvent (CVT) was one of this summer's hottest IPOs. It priced its offering at $21 last month, and the stock has gone on to nearly double.
Cvent is a leading platform for event planners, hooking up conventions and industry shows with hotels and conference centers to make it all happen. Playing both sides of the game, Cvent makes money selling premium subscriptions that provide access to its market-leading marketplace.
It's a good business. Cvent is profitable, and revenue soared 37 percent last year. It reports on Monday after the market close.
Tuesday -- Let's Steal Some Cars: The video game industry has been in a rut over the past few years, and that may change in November when the new Xbox One and PlayStation 4 hit the market. However, there may be a glimmer of hope earlier than that when "Grand Theft Auto V" hits stores on Tuesday.
It's been more than five years since Take-Two Interactive's (TTWO) notorious "Grand Theft Auto IV" set initial sales records. Will gamers show up to buy the gritty crime game or will they be saving their money for November's new consoles? We'll find out soon enough.
Wednesday -- Office Space: One of the smarter ways to gauge the state of corporate America is to check in on the state of office furniture. If companies are hiring again or investing in new printers and task chairs it's a good sign that the economy's humming along.
We'll be getting a solid perspective on the state of office furniture when Herman Miller (MLHR) and Steelcase (SCS) report on Wednesday.
Analysts see the two companies generating 3 percent to 4 percent sales growth in their latest quarter. That's not the frenzied growth levels that would signal the economy is booming, but at least office gear sales are moving in the right direction.
Thursday -- Pier Pressure: Four years or so ago, things seemed dire for Pier 1 Imports (PIR) -- it's stock was trading for as little as $0.10. The shares were being traded for dimes because the home furnishings retailer was struggling through financial crisis, which hit housing-related companies the hardest.
It's a different scene these days, and Pier 1 has been one of the market's biggest winners since the market bottomed out, rising more than 200-fold -- yes, 200-fold -- to move above $20 a share.
Analysts see Pier 1 earning $0.21 a share when it reports on Thursday. Analysts have been spot on in three of the past four quarters, so that's probably a safe bet. And, yes, Pier 1 should earn twice as much this quarter as the market value of the whole company at its 2009 low.
Friday -- Get Your iPhones Here: Shares of Apple (AAPL) moved lower after the unveiling of the iPhone 5s and the cheaper yet more colorful iPhone 5c, but the ultimate arbiters of the company's success will start having their say on Friday when the new smartphones become available for purchase.
The high-end iPhone 5s features a more powerful processor and some unique features including fingerprint identification to unlock a phone. Who needs to punch in a four-digit passcode when a simple push of the home button where the sensor is located can do the same thing? The iPhone 5c isn't as fancy, but it costs $100 less and is available in five bright colors.
Historically, Apple has offered up a tally of how many new smartphones it sells during a launch weekend, so it shouldn't take long before we realize if Apple has some winners in its new lines.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.