The Week Ahead: Some Welcome Surprises

 | Mar 09, 2014 | 7:00 PM EDT  | Comments
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Stock quotes in this article:

ge

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aeo

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bont

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dks

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wsm

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ann

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bke

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ulta

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czr

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cool

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med

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dmnd

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kkd

There were a few surprises last week -- not counting what was, we hope, the last storm that we'll see here on the East Coast this winter. I'm referring to several better-than-expected data points, as well as the speed with which Mr. Stock Market has looked past the ongoing Ukraine crisis and the beginnings of what could become a political chess match between President Obama and Russian President Putin.

Turning to those economic-data releases, in February disposable income grew by its strongest rate for several months. Auto sales fared better than anticipated, as well, considering winter-weather concerns. Finally, per last Friday's Employment Report, February enjoyed better-than-expected job creation by a wide margin, even though labor-force participation remained lower vs. the prior year. Unsurprisingly, the jobs report also showed a dip in the average workweek, but in my view that reflects the winter storms more than anything else.

Also last week, February's Institute for Supply Management manufacturing index saw a rebound in order activity. When we couple this with last month's Markit purchasing managers index, which showed similar order strength, it's looking to me that manufacturing activity is set to bounce back as the weather normalizes. That, alongside other favorable non-U.S. manufacturing data of late, was one of the reasons I recommended General Electric (GE) shares to Real Money Pro subscribers last week. 

Looking to the week ahead, the economic data will be light until Thursday's February retail-sales data. Retail expectations were again on the dim side ahead of the auto-sales data, reflecting the harsh winter weather -- but, that said, odds are that we'll get a pass on these numbers. What will garner far more attention this week will be commentary from the plethora of retailers due to report: American Eagle Outfitters (AEO), Bon-Ton (BONT), Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS), Williams-Sonoma (WSM), Ann Taylor (ANN), The Buckle (BKE) and Ulta Salon (ULTA), among others.

This is also the week when we're set to hear from several gaming companies, including Caesars Entertainment (CZR) and Majesco Entertainment (COOL). More numbers are scheduled from several past and present problem children, such as Medifast (MED), Diamond Foods (DMND) and Krispy Kreme (KKD) -- any of which could become fodder for Herb Greenberg and his Reality Check newsletter.

With less than three weeks to go until the end of the current quarter -- it sure seems as if we just closed the books on the December quarter, doesn't it? -- it's time to start listening for warnings and other pre-earnings announcements. After all, it would be very convenient to blame a weak March quarter on the weather.

Here's a more detailed look at what's on tap in the week ahead.

_________________

Economic Calendar

Monday, March 10

  • Markit Global Business Outlook

____

Tuesday, March 11

  • Wholesale Inventories (January)
  • Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) (January)

____

Wednesday, March 12

  • Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) Mortgage Index (Weekly)
  • Crude Oil Inventories (Weekly)
  • Treasury Budget (February)

____

Thursday, March 13

  • Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims (Weekly)
  • Retail Sales (February)
  • Import and Export Prices (February)
  • Business Inventories (January)
  • Natural Gas Inventories (Weekly)

____

Friday, March 14

  • Producer Price Index (February)
  • Michigan Sentiment Index (March)

________________

Earnings Calendar

Monday, March 10

  • Full House Resorts (FLL)
  • Hemisphere Media Group (HMTV)
  • Medifast Inc. (MED)
  • United Natural Foods (UNFI)
  • Urban Outfitters (URBN)

____

Tuesday, March 11

  • American Eagle Outfitters (AEO)
  • The Bon-Ton Stores (BONT)
  • Bridgepoint Education Inc. (BPI)
  • Caesars Entertainment Corp. (CZR)
  • Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS)
  • Diamond Foods (DMND)
  • John Wiley & Sons Inc. (JW.A)
  • MTR Gaming Group (MNTG)
  • VeriFone Holdings (PAY)
  • Resource America (REXI)
  • USA Mobility (USMO)

____

Wednesday, March 12

  • Majesco Entertainment (COOL)
  • Dresser-Rand Group (DRC)
  • Express, Inc. (EXPR)
  • Inter Parfums (IPAR)
  • Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (KKD)
  • Magnetek Inc. (MAG)
  • Vail Resorts (MTN)
  • Williams-Sonoma Inc. (WSM)

____

Thursday, March 13

  • Ameresco, Inc. (AMRC)
  • Aeropostale Inc. (ARO)
  • American Residential Properties (ARPI)
  • Christopher & Banks Corp. (CBK)
  • Dollar General Corp. (DG)
  • Genesco Inc. (GCO)
  • Mattress Firm Holding Corp. (MFRM)
  • Natural Gas Services Group )NGS)
  • SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS)
  • Stein Mart, Inc. (SMRT)
  • Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrances (ULTA)
  • Wave Systems (WAVX)
  • Zumiez Inc (ZUMZ)

____

Friday, March 14

  • American Homes 4 Rent (AMH)
  • Ann Taylor Stores (ANN)
  • The Buckle (BKE)
  • Brown Show Co. (BWS)
  • Casual Male Retail Group (CMRG)
  • Hibbett Sports (HIBB)

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