1. Home IPO, Sweet Home IPO: Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, you're probably aware that residential real estate has bounced back in a major way. Prices are inching higher, and available inventory is thinning out.
If you are sleeping under said rock, by the way, at least make sure it has central air, indoor plumbing, and room for a pool.
As homebuilders see their financials and share prices improve, privately held developers now want in on the action. TRI Point Homes (TPH) went public earlier this year, and this week it will be Taylor Morrison Home hanging the "Open House" sign on its IPO.
Taylor Morrison Home is hoping to raise roughly $500 million as it offers 23.8 million shares priced at $20 to $22 apiece. The stock should price on Tuesday for this developer that happens to be one of country's 10 largest homebuilders. Taylor Morrison Home should then begin trading on Wednesday.
2. Facebook Calls an Audible: Facebook (FB) unveiled a new platform for Android devices last week, and Facebook Home makes its debut on Friday.
The new program will run on some of the latest Android wireless devices, aiming to make the smartphone experience more about people than apps.
Phones with Facebook Home installed will boost up to a screen where Facebook notifications are front and center with the latest photos uploaded by friends serving as a background. It's more impressive than it sounds, and more importantly it's reversible -- it's just a matter of uninstalling the program.
A bolder move by Facebook -- HTC First -- will also hit the market Friday. This is what many in the media are now calling the Facebook Phone since it's optimized for the new application. Even if the phone itself doesn't sell well, the future of Facebook Home can still be bright.
3. Good Buy, Ruby Tuesday?: The climate for casual dining is challenging. The end of the payroll tax stimulus is giving diners less money to eat out. It's certainly not helping that hungry customers are choosing "fast casual" places that provide quality food quickly at lower price points and without the tipping rite.
Ruby Tuesday (RT) has been a laggard, and a new CEO was brought in late last year to attempt a turnaround. The new helmsman has shed some of the smaller concepts, and he's also hoping that moving customers away from expecting coupons will help the bottom line.
We'll get a heaping plate of reality when Ruby Tuesday reports this week -- not on Tuesday, but Wednesday afternoon.
4. Sprucing Up Your Home: Now that the wintry weather is starting to pass through most of the country we can finally begin the annual rite of spring cleaning.
One byproduct of sprucing up our homes and heaving out the unwanted is that retailers specializing in home furnishings get a seasonal boost as homeowners and apartment dwellers update their digs.
Pier 1 Imports (PIR) and Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) report this week, giving investors a great snapshot on two of the more popular chains for soft goods and home decor. Analysts see both store operators posting improving profitability.
5. There Are No Lemons on This Lot: Auto sales are growing nicely. Industry tracker Edmunds boosted it outlook last week after automakers offered up strong sales for the month of March.
Edmunds now sees 15.5 million new cars sold this year, up from its earlier forecast of 15 million new cars.
We can't all afford new cars, and the cars being traded in need to go somewhere. CarMax (KMX) is there to address both matters. The leading used car retailer buys back trade-ins and offers the resale of secondhand cars without the high pressure hassle that many associate with used car dealers.
CarMax pulls up for its quarterly report on Wednesday. Wall Street's banking on a profit of 46 cents a share, just ahead of the 41 cents a share it posted a year earlier.
Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Bed Bath & Beyond and Facebook. The Motley Fool owns shares of Facebook.