Investing Ahead of Earnings: Dollar General, Express, Krispy Kreme

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Between Wednesday and Friday, eight companies in the retail-wholesale sector will report quarterly earnings. Here, we preview a retailers of upscale ladies clothing, teen clothing, home products and a donut maker, too.

In the midst of these reports, investors will also react to Thursday's release of retail sales for February; economists expect sales to rise by 0.3%. See our detailed technical analysis chart about these stocks following these profiles.

Ann (ANN) ($36.09, down 1.3% YTD): Analysts expect the retailer of upscale women's clothing to report earnings of 7 cents a share before the opening bell on Friday.

The stock set a multiyear intraday high at $39.13 on Jan. 6, and then declined to its 2014 intraday low at $30.71 on Feb. 5. The stock was below its 200-day simple moving average between Jan. 27 and Feb. 25 with the stock now above its 200-day SMA at $34.33.

The weekly chart is positive with its five-week modified moving average at $35.18 and the 200-week simple moving average at $28.21. Weekly and annual value levels are $32.77 and $30.67 with a monthly pivot at $37.03 and quarterly and semiannual risky levels at $41.28 and $44.18.

Aeropostale (ARO) ($7, down 23% YTD): Analysts expect the teens' casual outfits retailer to report a loss of 30 cents a share after the closing bell on Thursday.

The stock has been below its 200-day SMA since Aug. 8, and traded as low as $6.04 on Feb. 14, well below its 200-day SMA at $10.15. The weekly chart is neutral with the stock below its five-week MMA at $7.29 with rising 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic. Weekly and monthly value levels are $5.71 and $4.66 with a quarterly risky level at $11.63.

Dollar General (DG) ($59.40, down 1.5% YTD): Analysts expect the discount retailer to report earnings of $1.01 per share before the opening bell on Thursday.

The stock set an all-time intraday high at $60.83 on Jan. 10, and then declined to its 2014 intraday low at $55.08 on Jan. 31 with the stock below its 200-day SMA from that date until Feb. 14. It's now above the 200-day SMA at $56.56. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $58.83. Weekly and annual value levels at $53.64 and $45.67 with quarterly and monthly risky levels at $64.27 and $64.29.

Express (EXPR) ($18.41, down 1.4% YTD): Analysts expect the specialty retailer to report earnings of 59 cents a share before the opening bell on Wednesday.

The stock has been below its 200-day SMA at $20.95 since Dec. 4, trading as low as $16.27 on Feb. 5. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $18.24 and the 200-week SMA at $18.86. My weekly value level is $16.66 with a quarterly pivot at $18.45 and monthly risky level at $20.70.

Hibbett Sports (HIBB) ($59.05, down 12.1% YTD): Analysts expect the sporting-goods store to report earnings of 69 cents a share before the opening bell on Friday.

The stock set an all-time intraday high at $68.30 on Dec. 27, and then traded as low as $54 on Feb. 24 with the stock trading back and forth around its 200-day SMA at $58.61 since Feb. 3. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $59.29 and its 200-week SMA at $46.78. Weekly and annual value levels are $53.86 and $50.92 with monthly and semiannual risky levels at $62.52 and $71.30.

Krispy Kreme (KKD) ($19.09, down 1.8% YTD): Analysts expect the donut maker to report earnings of 13 cents a share after the closing bell on Wednesday.

The stock has been trading back and forth around its 200-day SMA at $20.12 since Dec. 10, and it traded as low as $15.70 on Feb. 5. The weekly chart shifts to positive given a close this week above its five-week MMA at $18.76 with its 200-week SMA at $10.24. Weekly and semiannual value levels are $17.45 and $15.19 with a semiannual pivot at $18.87 and quarterly and monthly risky levels at $20.31 and $23.51.

ULTA Salon (ULTA) ($89.91, down 6.8% YTD): Analysts expect the cosmetics retailer to report earnings of $1.07 a share after the closing bell on Thursday.

The stock set its all-time intraday high at $132.72 on Nov. 18, and then crashed to as low as $80.35 on Jan. 22 and has been below its 200-day SMA at $102.92 since Dec. 6. The weekly chart shifts to positive given a close this week above its five-week MMA at $89.47 with its 200-week SMA at $73.91. My weekly value level is $80.46 with monthly and semiannual risky levels at $108.10 and $120.89.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) ($59.24, up 1.7% YTD): Analysts expect the home-products retailer to report earnings of $1.35 a share after the closing bell on Wednesday.

The stock slipped below its 200-day SMA at $56.42 on Jan. 15, and then moved back above it on Feb. 26 to a 2014 intraday high at $59.99 on Monday. The weekly chart is positive with its five-week MMA at $57.28. Monthly and weekly value levels are $57.96 and $53.99 with a quarterly pivot at $59.36 and semiannual risky levels at $65.15 and $65.73.

Crunching the Numbers with Richard Suttmeier

There are five columns with moving average titles: Five-Week Modified Moving Average, 21-Day Simple Moving Average, 50-Day Simple Moving Average, 200-Day Simple Moving Average and the 200-Week Simple Moving Average.

The column labeled 12x3x3 Weekly Slow Stochastics shows the pattern on each weekly chart with readings from Oversold, Rising, Overbought, Declining or Flat.

Interpretations: (stocks below a moving average listed in Red are below that moving average)

Five-Week Modified Moving Average (MMA) is one of two indicators that define whether or not a weekly chart profile is positive, neutral or negative. The other is the status of the 12x3x3 weekly slow stochastic.

A stock with a positive technical rating is above its five-week MMA with rising or overbought stochastics.

A stock with a negative technical rating is below its five-week MMA with declining or oversold stochastics.

A stock with a neutral technical rating has a profile that is not positive or negative.

The 200-Week Simple Moving Average (SMA) is considered a long-term technical support or resistance and as a "reversion to the mean" over a rolling three to five year horizon. (even Apple declined to its 200-week SMA in June 2013)

The 21-Day Simple Moving Average is a short-term technical support or resistance used by many hedge fund traders to adjust positions. A stock above its 21-day SMA will likely move higher over a rolling three to five day horizon and vice versa.

The 50-Day Simple Moving Average is also a technical support or resistance used by many strategists and commentators in financial TV.

The 200-Day Simple Moving Average is another technical support or resistance and I consider this level as a shorter-term "reversion to the mean" over a rolling six to 12 month horizon. (even Apple tested or crossed its 200-day SMA in nine of the last 10 years)

Value Levels, Pivots and Risky Levels are calculated based upon the last nine weekly closes (W), nine monthly closes (M), nine quarterly closes (Q), nine semiannual closes (S) and nine annual closes (A). I have one column for pivots, which is a magnet for the period shown. The columns to the left of the pivots are first and second value levels. The columns to the right of the pivots are first and second risky levels.

Investors who wish to buy a stock should use a good-until-canceled GTC limit order to buy weakness to a value level. Investors who want to sell a stock should use a GTC limit order to sell strength to a risky level.

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

Follow @Suttmeier

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff

Richard Suttmeier is the chief market strategist at ValuEngine.com. He has been a professional in the U.S. Capital Markets since 1972, transferring his engineering skills to the trading and investment world.

Suttmeier has an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Master of Science degree from Brooklyn Poly. He began his career in the financial services industry in 1972 trading U.S. Treasury securities in the primary dealer community. He became the first long bond trader for Bache in 1978, and formed the Government Bond Department at LF Rothschild in 1981, helping establish that firm as a primary dealer in 1986. This experience gives him the insights to be an expert on monetary policy, which he features in his newsletters, and market commentary.

Suttmeier's industry licenses include, Series 7 and Registered Principal (Series 24). He has been the Chief Market Strategist for ValuEngine.com since 2008 and often appears on financial TV.

Click here for details on Suttmeier's "Buy and Trade" investment strategy.

Richard Suttmeier can be reached at RSuttmeier@Gmail.com

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