top the list of stocks Wall Street will be watching Monday.
Walgreen, the Deerfield, Ill., drug store giant, is due to post fiscal third-quarter earnings Monday morning. Analysts expect the company to make 44 cents a share, up from 40 cents a year earlier, on sales of $12.1 billion, according to a Thomson Financial survey.
Walgreen has been growing at a rapid clip, opening roughly a store a day, according to the Associated Press. Same-store sales, measuring sales in stores open at least a year, have been on the rise as well, gaining 9.8% in May. Investors are
taking a closer look at so-called defensive stocks, like drug store chains, as inflation and slowdown worries loom.
But Walgreen shares have been stuck in the $40s for more than a year, as the company faces increasing competition from Woonsocket, R.I.-based
and Camp Hill, Pa., rival
Lennar, the Miami-based homebuilder, is also due to post earnings Monday morning. Analysts expect the company to make $1.86 a share for its fiscal second quarter, up from $1.55 a year ago. Investors will be listening in on the company's 11 a.m. EDT conference call for clues about the state of the housing market.
Fears that housing prices are heading sharply lower have punished shares in Lennar and rivals like
. After a sharp multiyear runup, Lennar has lost 26% of its value this year. The government is due to post new home sales data for May at 10 a.m. Economists expect a 4% decline.
has been in the news quite a bit lately, and Monday will be no exception. The automaker is due to make a presentation to investors in Tokyo early Monday morning EST. Wall Street is eager to assess the impact of the big buyout plan GM is dangling before workers in a bid to slash costs, particularly pension and healthcare obligations. Even if the company doesn't provide data on those issues Monday, expect the heated debate over CEO Rick Wagoner's turnaround plan to percolate.
After Walgreen and Lennar, the earnings slate is light on Monday. Investors will look for postclose reports from disease manager
and burger chain
Tuesday afternoon, Wall Street will hear from sneaker giant
and communications-software company
( CMVT). Nike has been bouncing back from last month's selloff, while Comverse continues to struggle with an options-backdating inquiry.