What to Watch on Wall Street This Week: Nadella's News, Waffle Tacos

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Taco Bell Breakfast
Taco Bell/APTaco Bell says the waffle taco was the top seller at breakfast at five California restaurants during testing earlier this year.
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 Taco Bell hoping to take a bigger bite out of the breakfast market to another fast-food chain pulling up with its latest quarterly results, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.

Monday -- Sonic Boom

Sonic (SONC) operates the country's largest chain of drive-in restaurants. The key word there is "drive-in," as folks pull into parking spaces with intercoms where they place their orders. If you're lucky a carhop on roller skates will roll on over with your order. There are 3,500 Sonic drive-ins across the country, serving roughly 3 million customers a day.

Sonic kicks off the final full trading week of the quarter with its latest financial report. Analyst see a profit of 6 cents a share, up slightly from last year's showing, on flat sales growth.

Tuesday -- Office Space

One of the savvier ways to check the pulse of corporate America is to see how furniture sales are holding up. If companies are hiring again, there's a fair shot that they will also be needing new task chairs, desks and other office staples.

Herman Miller (MLHR) reported its latest quarterly results this past Wednesday. On Tuesday we'll see see how its peer Steelcase (SCS) fared during the holiday quarter that's extends into early February. In other words, if companies were spending money on new furniture earlier this year, it will show up in Steelcase's numbers. Analysts see revenue climbing 7 percent in Steelcase's latest quarter.

Wednesday -- Meet Microsoft's New Boss

There's a new sheriff in town at Microsoft (MSFT) and on Wednesday CEO Satya Nadella will host his first media event since taking over at the world's largest software company.

It may be special. Some reports claim that Microsoft will announce availability of Office -- its suite of productivity programs that includes Word word processing, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations -- for iPad users. Microsoft has avoided making those programs available to non-Windows tablets, but this seems to be a realization that it's better to support rival mobile devices than to miss out on the revenue.

Thursday -- Breakfast in Cancun

The breakfast market has been heating up, and Yum Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell is ready to cash in with a national rollout of a breakfast menu on Thursday.
We're talking about burritos with scrambled eggs and the Waffle Taco that it was testing in select markets last summer.

There's plenty at stake in the suddenly crowded market for morning commuters, but Taco Bell has typically opened early to make sure that it gets the early risers with its regular menu. We'll see if this creates a spike in its business, and it should since it would seem to be incremental.

Friday -- Doing Cardio at the Mall

On Friday morning Finish Line (FINL) will take a victory lap. The mall retailer sells athletic footwear, performance apparel and accessories through 644 stores across the country. It also manages the athletic shoes department at 651 Macy's (M) stores.

Athletic footwear retailer is normally a sleepy niche, but Finish Line appears to be sprinting these days. Analysts see sales and earnings per share climbing 20 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft.


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14 Comments

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Sonny

This new Waffle Taco looks wonderful, but today is Long John Silver's $.99 cent cheeseburger day............ and I mean full size cheeseburgers!!! 45 more minutes, and I am off to get me a sack full!!!!

March 24 2014 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
wickedone1414

Oh looky... more padding for your @rses.

March 24 2014 at 11:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dick

Would be fun to watch all you cell phone addicts try to eat one while still glued to your phone...lol.

March 24 2014 at 11:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
madfam004

For some people taco bell rings their bell. Don't knock it until you try it.

March 24 2014 at 11:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
toddisit

If you can't make breakfast for yourself, you must be a waste product. I rarely go out for breakfast, once a year would be a lot. Keep getting fat America, let me know when you pull your head out of your behind!

March 24 2014 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toddisit's comment
Sonny

I have plenty of money and can afford my own medical insurance.............. and I will eat whatever I want, whenever I want!

March 24 2014 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sikes442

Not sure if first comment went through, Our Taco Bell is offering free breakfast until March 26. Everything is free from 7am to 11am. the breakfast tacos and burritos are really good.

March 24 2014 at 10:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BRUCE

I don't think the egg mcmuffin has a thing to worry about....this looks pretty disgusting, and I'm not even going to give it a chance.

March 24 2014 at 10:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BRUCE's comment
Sonny

Good, more for me!

March 24 2014 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
glers

The last place on earth I would eat breakfast is Taco Bell

March 24 2014 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

Okay, we know that Taco isn't 100% real Mexican food. It's more Mexican/American style but this breakfast waffle taco is totally ludicrous ... tho it might be very good & quite tasty. Will it do well in competition with other fast food breakfast menus? Wait and see. ☺

March 24 2014 at 8:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lbn78

EWW... :(

March 24 2014 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply