Wall Street This Week: Forecasts by Microsoft, Ford on Deck

<b class="credit">ford.com</b>
ford.com

From a leading automaker that's been having trouble getting its engine going again to the world's largest software company hoping to prove that it's no slouch in the booming world of cloud computing, here are some of the things that will help shape the week ahead on Wall Street.

Monday -- Every Cloud Has a Silver Connection

Microsoft (MSFT) was late to the mobile computing and cloud computing revolutions, but it's trying to make up for lost time. It will host a media event on Monday in San Francisco to show off its latest developments and recent acquisitions. "Join us to hear what's ahead for Microsoft's Cloud," reads the software giant's media invitation.

Microsoft has been busy trying to wow the media lately. It recently gave the public a sneak peek at the upcoming Windows 10 platform. Now it's hoping to get the market excited about what's possible with Microsoft's Web-based solutions.

Tuesday -- Robots on Parade

%VIRTUAL-WSSCourseInline-459%When it comes to robotics, iRobot (IRBT) has a diverse product line. This is the company behind the Roomba, the cute programmable orbs that go around floors vacuuming up dirt. It's also the company behind the PackBot military robots in active duty in combat zones to keep soldiers and civilians out of harm's way by disarming roadside explosives and performing basic surveillance.

It reports quarterly results on Tuesday afternoon. There are some amazing things being done in the field of robotics, but don't worry: Humans are still programming them.

Wednesday -- Angie's List's Buyout Rumors

Angie's List (ANGI) took off earlier this month after an analyst at Wunderlich Securities suggested that it was a potential buyout candidate. As a premium referral service for local providers, the company charges members for access to vetted reviews. The problem is that there are way too many free sources these days for crowdsourcing reviews.

Angie's List has struggled with profitability since going public three years ago as it invests in growing and promoting its site. It will get an opportunity to address buyout chatter and win back the market when it reports quarterly results on Wednesday. Analysts see a narrowing deficit on a 25 percent year-over-year uptick in revenue.

Thursday -- Mutual Interest

A couple of mutual fund companies will be stepping up with fresh financials on Thursday. Janus (JNS) and T. Rowe Price (TROW) are two of the leading fund families in the no-load realm of mutual funds.

Janus made waves recently when it hired Bill Gross, the legendary income fund manager, away from Pimco. Janus and T. Rowe Price are both expected to post modest growth in revenue, with earnings climbing slightly higher.

Friday -- Test-Driving the Automotive Industry

Fridays are usually quiet on the financial news front, but that's not the case during earnings season. Ford (F) will be a name to watch when it reports on Friday morning.

The automaker giant has hit a few potholes lately. The stock hit a new 52-week low last week despite an improving global marketplace for its cars and light trucks. The rub for Ford is that margins have been contracting as sales have stalled this year. Analysts see a sharp drop in profitability when it reports on a slight decline in sales. This brings new meaning to the "Ford Tough" marketing slogan.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Ford. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and iRobot and owns shares of Ford and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. Check out our free report on the Apple Watch to learn where the real money is to be made for early investors.

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