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.
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.