5 Things to Watch on Wall Street This Week

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Earns Home Depot
AP
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 the release of a hot new video game console to home improvement chains stepping up with fresh financials, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.

Monday -- Urban Warfare: The second half of November is historically ripe with earnings reports out of retailers that have fiscal quarters ending in October. There will be several store chains reporting this week, but the new week kicks off slowly with Urban Outfitters (URBN) hitting the register with its fresh financials.

Analysts are holding out for healthy growth at the apparel-selling mall chain. They see sales and earnings growing between 11 percent and 13 percent for the quarter, setting the stage for the pivotal holiday shopping season.

Tuesday -- There's no Slumber in Lumber: The housing industry revival has helped out many different companies. Homebuilders are naturally doing well, and mortgage brokers were on a roll until applications recently began to dry up. One layer deeper we're seeing appliance sales and furniture showrooms starting to show signs of life, and that leads us to Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW).

The country's two largest home improvement retailers report this week. Home Depot checks in on Tuesday. Lowe's follows a day later. As one can imagine, this is a good time to be selling lighting fixtures, decking materials, and anything that can spruce up a home. Folks are starting to move. Improving home prices also means that fewer homes owe more on their mortgages than their properties are worth, giving them the freedom to invest in home improvement projects.

Wednesday -- There's No "Easy" Button in Real Life: Home improvement chains are in a good spot, but the same thing can't be said for office supply superstores.

We're still waiting for small businesses to bounce back out of the recession, drumming up sales for market leader Staples (SPLS). The office supply giant reports on Wednesday.

Analysts see sales and profits declining in the chain's latest quarter. Weakness in Europe has hurt in the past.

Its two closest rivals -- OfficeMax and Office Depot -- recently merged. This may actually be good news as it should help firm up pricing. However, until Corporate America truly bounces back Staples will have a hard time moving more toner cartridges and task chairs.

Thursday -- Cracking Open Pandora's Box: Streaming music is a pretty popular diversion in the mobile revolution that we're living in, and Pandora (P) is leading the way.

Pandora treated 70.9 million users to a whopping 1.47 billion hours of audio last month, but that's actually fewer listeners than it attracted a month earlier. The mid-September launch of iTunes Radio may have had something to do with that, but we'll hear what the company has to say when it reports quarterly results on Thursday.

Friday -- Console Yourself: After several years, diehard gamers are ready for a serious console battle. Microsoft (MSFT) begins selling its Xbox One system on Friday, exactly one week after Sony (SNE) began offering its PlayStation 4.

The Xbox One hits the market at a stiff $499 price tag, but there is no shortage of folks that will want the new console. There are tens of millions of gamers on its Xbox Live platform, enjoying Microsoft's growing digital marketplace and the ability to play multiplayer games online.

It's going to be an interesting holiday shopping season with two powerful consoles going head to head. Gamers seem to love the competition.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Home Depot, Pandora Media, and Urban Outfitters. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft and Staples. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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