What to Watch on Wall Street This Week

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Inside the Greenhouses of Monsanto
Brent Stirton/Getty ImagesA research biologist inside a climate chamber housed in Monsanto agribusiness headquarters in St Louis.
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 a popular comic book character returning in a highly anticipated sequel to a growing maker of an ethnic dairy drink spooning out fresh financials, here are some of the things that will help shape the week that lies ahead on Wall Street.

The new quarter begins on Tuesday.

Monday -- Kefir Madness

Kefir is a fermented dairy beverage popular in Eastern Europe. Lifeway Foods (LWAY) is widely credited with introducing it into American dairy aisles. If the slightly tart Greek yogurt is trending, could kefir be next? Lifeway Foods reports quarterly results on Monday afternoon. Analysts see revenue climbing 13 percent, with earnings growing even faster.

Tuesday -- Showtime at the Apollo

Apollo Group (APOL) -- the for-profit post-secondary educator behind the virtual University of Phoenix campus -- will report quarterly results on Tuesday. Web-based universities were all the rage a couple of years ago when the recession led many displaced workers to brush up their skills through cheap and accessible online schools. However, that began to fade with some questioning the effectiveness of an Internet-based curriculum. Apollo also didn't do itself any favors when its aggressive marketing tactics were scrutinized.

Wednesday -- Monsanto Under Fire

Several years ago, Monsanto (MON) wasn't a terribly controversial firm. Farmers were grateful for its treated seeds and traits that would deliver more bountiful harvests.

Monsanto is still thriving financially, but more people are skeptical about the health ramifications of genetically modified organisms.
The growing popularity of organic foodstuffs and protesters rallying against GMOs in general (and Monsanto in particular) can't be ignored.

Analysts see revenue climbing 6 percent when Monsanto reports on Wednesday. They also see profitability growing even faster. Are the anti-Monsanto protestors right or are the ramifications of the challenges of feeding the world with less bountiful harvests more important? That's a hot topic to get your next cocktail party ignited.

Thursday -- Red, White and Blue on the Silver Screen

Comic book characters on the big screen have been a lucrative combination for Hollywood. Why do you think Disney (DIS) paid more than $4 billion for Marvel five years ago? Disney has been able to cash in several times in recent years, especially with its Avengers franchise and all of the rich superheroes, including Hulk, Iron Man and Thor. Another character from the Avengers family -- Captain America -- gets another chance to shine in a movie of his own. "Captain America: The Winter Solider" opens on Thursday in traditional 2-D screenings as well as in 3-D.

Friday -- Would You Buy a Used Car From This Firm?

The first trading week of the year's second quarter wraps up on Friday. CarMax (KMX) reports quarterly results in the morning. CarMax, whose clean showrooms offer reconditioned vehicles at haggle-free prices, is the country's leading seller of used cars. Wall Street's holding out for a profit of 53 cents a share for the holiday quarter, well ahead of the 46 cents a share it posted a year earlier.

Motley Fool contributor Rick Munarriz owns shares of Walt Disney. The Motley Fool recommends CarMax and Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of CarMax and Walt Disney. Try any of our newsletter services free for 30 days.

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