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3 Things to Watch in the Stock Market This Week

Stocks rose last week, as both the S&P 500 (SNPINDEX: ^GSPC) and the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI) gained almost 1 percentage point. The increase allowed both indexes to reach new all-time highs.

For the week ahead, a few notable news events could send shares of Target (NYSE: TGT), iRobot (NASDAQ: IRBT) and Delta (NYSE: DAL) moving over the next few trading days. Let's look at the metrics investors will be watching for in those announcements.

Target's holiday update

Target shares trounced the market in 2019, with a soaring stock price reflecting investor optimism about the retailer's business ahead of its holiday season update on Wednesday. The dividend stock's pivot toward multichannel selling has helped it achieve some of its best customer traffic growth in years while also lifting profitability, as shoppers increasingly opt for ultra-fast fulfillment options like same-day delivery.

Image source: Getty Images.

Wednesday's report won't contain much information on fourth-quarter earnings or operating margin; for that news investors will have to wait until Target's full-year report in early March. But this week's update will go a long way toward determining whether the chain can achieve the aggressive 2019 sales goals that management laid out in late November. CEO Brian Cornell and his team might have some broad comments to make about how they see 2020 shaping up, too.

iRobot's rebound plan

iRobot stock was a difficult one to hold last year, as returns jumped to nearly 60% by spring before collapsing to a 40% decline by the end of 2019. That volatility mostly had to do with Chinese tariffs and the disruption they caused to the robotic cleaning device industry.

Thanks to a growth conference presentation by iRobot's management on Tuesday, we should learn whether that disruption harmed iRobot's key holiday season shopping. Executives took the unusual step of cutting prices just ahead of the holidays in a bid to protect market share. That move might not have been enough to return the company to growth in the core U.S. market, though.

Looking further out, CEO Colin Angle might comment this week on iRobot's supply chain and development plans that aim to diversify its manufacturing base outside of China while bulking up the product lineup in hopes of stabilizing the once-booming business in 2020.

Delta's outlook

Investors have a few good reasons to follow Delta Air Lines' earnings report on Tuesday. The company detailed some optimistic readings on demand and profit trends in mid-December, after all, and this week's announcement will provide the opportunity to back up those projections with hard data.

Look for Delta to discuss the changes its making to the fleet that take advantage of bigger, more efficient aircraft. We'll also get an important traffic update to go along with early December's reading of a 5% uptick in passenger miles through November 2019.

If Delta's stock moves much in response to the report, though, it will be because management either confirmed or scaled back the initial reading of 2020 that calls for revenue to expand by a further 5% toward $49 billion.

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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Delta Air Lines and iRobot. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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