Wall Street This Week: Breadstick Sandwiches, Smucker's Jam
Monday -- Breaking Breadsticks
Darden Restaurants (DRI) has a lot riding on Olive Garden these days. The casual Italian dining chain now makes up more than half of the restaurants in Darden's empire, and it's making a big menu addition this week. Sandwiches featuring the chain's signature breadsticks as the bun will start being served Monday.
The two sandwiches -- meatball and chicken Parmesan -- are served with seasoned fries and, yes, unlimited breadsticks. Darden's chain can use the boost: Traffic trends have been negative at Olive Garden for nearly two years.
Tuesday -- Truth or Conn's Sequences
Things haven't been going well for Conn's (CONN), and the specialty retailer of furniture, mattresses, home appliances, and consumer electronics reports quarterly results Tuesday. Comps have been sluggish at Conn's, but the more problematic nugget is that default rates are on the rise.
A whopping 8.4 percent of its sales made on credit are currently in default past 60 days, up from an 8 percent delinquency rate a year earlier. Conn's is a provider of consumer credit to its shoppers, so it's the one on the line for deadbeat customers.
Wednesday -- Gimme Five
One of the faster-growing discount retailers is Five Below (FIVE), a chain that, true to its name, stocks items selling at $5 or below. Expansion and strong store-level performance have combined to generate healthy double-digit sales growth. Analysts see 20 percent year-over-year sales growth when Five Below reports on Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday -- In a Jam
J.M. Smucker (SJM) does more than just make its namesake jellies. It's also the company behind Folgers coffee, Jif peanut butter and Hungry Jack pancake mix. Another thing it does is pay out consistently higher dividends. J.M. Smucker has come through with 13 consecutive years of payout hikes. It reports quarterly results on Thursday.
Friday -- Beyond the Matrix
This has been a strong year for original programming at Netflix (NFLX), and its latest series debuts on Friday. "Sense8" is a series from "The Matrix" trilogy creators Andy and Lana Wachowski and "Babylon 5" creator J. Michael Straczynski.
Yes, it's sci-fi, a niche that Netflix hasn't really tackled with its first-run content. The show's premise revolves around eight strangers who become emotionally linked. The initial 12-episode season will be available in its entirety on Friday.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool recommends Five Below and Netflix. The Motley Fool owns shares of Netflix. The Motley Fool is short Five Below. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days, and click hereto check out our free report for one great stock to buy for 2015 and beyond.