What to Watch on Wall Street This Week: Future of Solar, Gizmos

Solar panels fixed on the rooftop of a house
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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 country's leading warehouse club operator providing a glimpse into our bulk-shopping ways to a long list of solar energy companies hoping to brighten the portfolios of their investors, here are some things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.

Monday -- Let the Sun Shine

Solar power is a logical green energy solution, but it's still not economically feasible for a lot of homes and even commercial buildings. SolarCity (SCTY) is trying to change that, offering panel installations that are financed at rates that translate into installment plans that are comparable to electricity and other energy solutions.

SolarCity reports Monday, but it's not the only company trying to harness the sun for juice that will be reporting this week. Component makers stepping up with quarterly results include JinkoSolar (JKS) on Monday, Trina Solar (TSL) on Tuesday and Canadian Solar (CSIQ) on Wednesday. Take them all into account and we'll have a good snapshot on the state of solar energy.

Tuesday -- Back to the Future

RadioShack (RSH) had one of last month's most memorable Super Bowl commercials, playing up how the small-box retailer of consumer electronics was so much more relevant three decades ago.

"The '80s called," the ad begins. "They want their store back." The spot then features iconic characters from the era, including Alf, Mary Lou Retton and Hulk Hogan as they strip the store clean.

If only it was that easy to remake a struggling concept. Sales have been sliding at the chain, and profitability doesn't seem to be anywhere in sight. RadioShack's plan to transform itself in a store emphasizing mobile phones and other wireless gadgetry and services hasn't translated into success.

Wednesday -- Bark Place

PetSmart (PETM) reports Wednesday, and analysts see the seller of pet supplies and provider of pet grooming, boarding, and basic veterinary services posting slight dips in sales and earnings for the holiday quarter. %VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%The good news here is that PetSmart has posted better than expected bottom-line results in each of the past four quarters. It hasn't been by much, but with Wall Street eyeing $1.21 a share in profitability after it rang up earnings of $1.24 a share it won't take much of a beat to push net income in the right direction.

Thursday -- Savings in Bulk

Warehouse clubs have grown in popularity as shoppers overlook the exposed beams and dreary decor in pursuit of significant savings on bulk-sized product purchases. Costco Wholesale (COST) is the industry darling, and it reports Thursday.

Supermarket giant Kroger (KR) also reports Thursday, affording investors the opportunity to contrast a traditional grocer with a warehouse club.

Friday -- In the Race

Athletic footwear has been a resilient market as more people embrace healthy lifestyles that typically require comfortable shoes. Foot Locker (FL) has been a strong performer, hitting a fresh 52-week high last week. Foot Locker closes out the trading week with its quarterly report on Friday morning. Analysts see modest 3 percent growth in sales, but they also see even healthier earnings growth. Either way, Foot Locker investors know that investing isn't a sprint. It's a marathon.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Costco Wholesale, PetSmart and SolarCity. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale and SolarCity.

8 Foolproof Ways to Grow Your Savings
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What to Watch on Wall Street This Week: Future of Solar, Gizmos

This is my personal favorite! Think of yourself as a regular monthly bill you have to pay. All you have to do is arrange to have a set amount of money directly deposited from your paycheck into a savings account each month.

I recommend using a separate savings account because if you have access to your funds in your checking account, you're more likely to spend them. Again, it might hurt a bit at first to take home a little less every month, but trust me, after a while you won't even notice it's gone. Here's a moment when the "set it and forget it" strategy works wonders.

It feels great to be rewarded for your hard work. And it feels even better to spend that hard-earned bonus on something you’ll enjoy, like a trip to France or an iPad. At the same time, the pleasure of a vacation or new gadget is short-lived compared to financial security.

So make a pact with yourself to put every bonus you get from here on out to good use. If you direct 90 percent of your bonuses straight into your savings account as a rule, you’ll still have 10 percent to treat yourself with (plus the comfort of knowing that you're building a well-earned safety net). I live by this rule.

OK, OK, this seems like an obvious one -- and easier said than done. Actually, most people spend money on more unnecessary items than they think. So take time to look at where your money is going in detail and begin to cut back. Saving $10 here and there could help you put a lot away in the long run.
Many banks offer seasonal accounts meant to save for holidays like Christmas. These accounts give you reduced access to your accounts, charging a hefty penalty each time you withdraw more than permitted. Since emergencies don't occur often, a seasonal account could make sure you're touching it only when needed (just make sure you're not tempted to blow it all on Christmas gifts).
I love this one. Chalk it up to my massive craving for organization, but I'm all about getting rid of things I no longer use. Rather than throwing these unused goods away, start selling them, and put that money into your emergency fund. All you need to do is post them to a site like eBay or Craigslist or Amazon and you can get rid of items from the comfort of your home. You can also take your clothes to a consignment shop to have them sold for you.
Instead of saving your pennies, put aside any $5 bills that come your way. Never spend a $5 bill again, and you'll be surprised by how quickly this silly trick will help you come up with a few hundred dollars to add to an emergency fund.
You could pick up odd jobs via websites like TaskRabbit.com, DoMyStuff.com, Elance.com, FreelanceSwitch.com or Sitters.com.
If you get a cash-back reward for any spending on your credit card, just make it a rule that those dollars will be dedicated to your freedom fund. It may only add up to $100 extra each year, depending on your spending, but every little bit counts.
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