From an accounting giant checking in with its most taxing quarter to the annual E3 conference attracting video game buffs from all over the world, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.
Monday -- Xbox Marks the Spot
Microsoft (MSFT) rolls out a cheaper Xbox One on Monday. The new console may cost $100 less, but the catch here is that it will come without the camera-based Kinect controller.
This move has upset some developers since they've been making games under the assumption that the motion-based controller would come standard with all XBox Ones. Things will change dramatically for them if Kinect becomes little more than an accessory.
The new price tag will make the low-end Xbox One equal in price to Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4, and that could help it make up some lost ground. Both systems rolled out in November of last year, but the PlayStation 4 has sold 2 million at least more units than the Xbox One.
Tuesday -- Get Your Game On
It's not a coincidence that Microsoft is introducing a cheaper Xbox One on Monday. The widely watched E3 conference kicks off a day later in Los Angeles. For three days, companies will be showing off their latest games and electronic wares.
Gamers can expect hands-on test drives of upcoming games. Investors can expect stock-moving headlines as publicly traded E3 participants try to woo crowds with their latest moves.
Wednesday -- Block Party
H&R Block (HRB) is one of the more seasonal companies out there in terms of revenue. It rakes in a ton of dough during tax season as folks scramble to get their 1040s filed by mid-April, and then inevitably struggles to turn a profit for the balance of the year.
Despite more and more people turning to free or nearly free tax preparation software to file their returns, analysts forecast that H&R Block will report double-digit percentage growth in revenue and earnings. The one potential pitfall here is that it has come up short on the bottom line in each of its past four quarters. It would be great to see it earn $3.23 a share after posting net income of just $2.54 a share a year earlier, but the recent trend suggests that it pays to be cautious.
%VIRTUAL-article-sponsoredlinks%Thursday -- Stretching Like Yoga Pants
Lululemon Athletica (LULU) had a rough 2013, and things aren't getting a whole lot better in 2014. The rapidly expanding retailer of upscale exercise apparel began 2013 with an unfortunate recall of its Luon pants because they were too sheer. Its popular CEO stepped down a few months later, and then its chairman resigned in December after making insensitive remarks about some of its more full-figured customers.
The end result of last year's calamity is that the high-end chain that was the darling of the mall and of growth investors is now trading near its two-year low. It reports on Thursday, and analysts see flat earnings growth on a historically modest 10 percent uptick in sales.
Friday -- 'Jump Street' Sequel
Schools are starting to let out, and we're in a lull between earnings seasons. The one place that will be hopping is the local multiplex as summertime is what exhibitors live for with blockbusters hitting the silver screen.
Friday's big debut will be "22 Jump Street," the sequel to "21 Jump Street" which in of itself was a motion picture reboot of an old TV show. Sony's Columbia Pictures is the studio behind the release, making this a pretty big week for Sony between any E3 announcements earlier in the week and its likely substantial box office haul over the weekend.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Lululemon Athletica and owns shares of Microsoft.
8 Old Wives' Tales That Keep You Poor
Wall Street This Week: Summer Fun for Gamers, Movie Fans
On one level, this is absolutely true. Real wealth, when not inherited, typically comes from starting your own business, but that is difficult when you have nothing. But too many people assume that they can't make things happen unless they're well-financed. "Most of the millionaires or billionaires I've interviewed over the years have bootstrapped it," Siebold said. "Most start with close to nothing. Of the self-made rich, most started off poor or middle class. They've put it on credit cards or borrowed it from family. It takes ambition, and it takes belief that it can be done. It really starts with the self-belief that it's possible. Most people are taught that it's not really possible for them unless they're blue blood or they went to Harvard or Yale. The mythology doesn't match the facts."
"The implication is that money is not made easily and it doesn't come for nothing, which is true technically," Siebold said. "This belief sets people up to believe money is scarce and difficult to earn, instead of seeing money as abundant and earning it is as easy as solving a problem through persistent, creative thought. Figuratively speaking, money does grow on trees; and the trees are ideas." Put those ideas into practice, and you might be surprised how much money the idea tree can grow.
Siebold called it the "It's the old 'trading time for money' [idea] that we're taught." "The average person believes the only way to make more money is to work more hours." But if you limit making money to selling your time, you're limited to what you can make, because there are only so many hours in a day, week, month or year. "I consult with big corporations," he said. "These are some of the big companies in the world. When I ask audiences, 'What's the best way you can think of in your role to make more money,' they'll say, get an MBA. Even at that level, they're trained to trade time for money. College professors don't have money. Even the ones that teach finance don't have any money. This creates the belief that making money is a linear process directly connected to time. Big money requires thinking about it in non-linear terms."
"The real saying is actually 'the love' of money is the root of all evil, but has been misquoted for centuries that most people believe money itself is the root of all evil," Siebold said. "That's where the church comes in to disempower people to make money. It creates a disempowerment cycle that makes people more reliant ... on institutions. Decide to be proud of your ambition and ignore people who tell you that wanting to be rich is wrong."
"Get your piggy bank out and save your pennies," said Siebold. "This is a very dangerous belief as it put a major emphasis on saving. Saving in itself is not bad, but the masses are so focused on clipping coupons and living frugally that they miss major opportunities. People must reject this nickel and dime thinking and focus their mental energy where it belongs: on the big money." In other words, why save pennies when you could be making dollars?
This is another saying that is true in one sense but misleading in a more important way, according to Siebold. "You don't get rich to get happier; you get rich for the freedom in brings." If you're unhappy with money, being rich won't of itself change that. But you could have "more freedom, more options, more choices." And, as he pointed out, most people have no idea what it's like to live without financial worry. Being less unhappy is certainly a step in the right direction.
"This is usually a harmless phrase when people just want to know what's on your mind, but be careful," Siebold warned. "If overused and it penetrates the subconscious, you'll start giving away your intellectual property for practically nothing. Your IP and unique perspective can potentially be worth millions if packaged properly." Look at the number of famous 20th century musicians who sold their music rights for a figurative song and were left destitute even as music publishers made millions. Compare that to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, who kept their rights and built multi-million-dollar fortunes.
"[There's an] idea that there's some kind of nobleness is being poor," Siebold said. A rich man isn't going to go to heaven. I'm not a good person because I'm not ambitious. I don't want to make money so I can be good. It sets [people] up to fail. The masses are programmed from an early age to put the needs of others before their own. There's a reason on a plane to say put your oxygen mask on first. In order to make a lot of money, there is a period of time in the beginning of the wealth building process where you must focus on yourself and your business in order to make it at an uncommon level. Once you acquire wealth, then you can volunteer or give back to charity."