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Wall Street This Week: The Magic's a Bit Iffy for Harry Potter

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2007 Film Preview
Murray Close, Warner Bros./AP
From a major banking institution kicking off the new earnings season to the most-anticipated theme park debut of the year staging its grand opening, here are some things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.

Monday -- Food for Thought

The market's going to get off to a slow start on the news front. That's not a surprise given that it was closed Friday for Independence Day. One company that will be in the news on Monday is food and industrial products maker Penford (PENX).

Penford's wide range of products include food ingredients, pet and animal products, sustainable bioproducts, starches for paper and packaging products and biofuels. Analysts see Penford earning 21 cents a share, but keep in mind that it has come up short against Wall Street expectations in each of the three previous quarters.

Tuesday -- Harry Potter

Central Florida will be a bit busier than usual on Tuesday when Comcast's (CMCSK) Universal Orlando has its grand opening of the new Diagon Alley expansion to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

It's been a rough start. July 8 wasn't the opening date that the park originally wanted, judging by the fact that it had "The Tonight Show" and "Today" run weeklong tie-ins a few weeks ago. Conveniently for Comcast, it owns both the Universal theme parks and NBC.

However, with the expansion's indoor coaster proving unreliable -- and even Universal pass holders being denied early access to attractions outside of the new Hogwarts Express train ride -- it could be an interesting debut. The crowds should be huge, the expectations lofty.

Wednesday -- Mopping Up

WD-40 (WDFC) reports on Wednesday afternoon. This is the company behind the multi-use lubricant. It also offers industrial cleaners, toilet sanitizers and other compounds.

WD-40 didn't work out for its shareholders last time out. It posted better than expected 9 percent growth in revenue, but earnings fell just short of expectations. WD-40's guidance for all of 2014 -- calling for earnings of $40.5 million to $42.8 million on $383 million to $398 million in revenue didn't impress the market. Three months later we'll see if it's going to revise those targets higher or lower.

Thursday -- A Dollar Saved

Family Dollar (FDO) reports on Thursday. The market was planning on Family Dollar merging with Dollar General (DG) -- a move that would unite two leaders of deep discount retail -- but that doesn't seem likely after Dollar General's CEO announced his resignation late last month.

This will make Family Dollar's report even more interesting. It probably doesn't help that it has missed Wall Street's income forecasts in back-to-back quarters heading into Thursday's report.

Friday -- Can You Bank on It?

Earnings season doesn't truly kick in until later in July, but banking giants are some of the first companies to report on the quarters ending in June. They're bankers. They have to be quick with the bean counting.

Wells Fargo (WFC) reports on Friday morning, symbolically kicking off the second quarter earnings season that will heat up in the coming weeks. The financial service industry has benefited from the housing boom that's been ignited in part by low loan rates, but the downside to that is that customers aren't in a hurry to open savings and interest-bearing checking accounts in that kind of climate.

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


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