What to Watch in the Stock Market This Week

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With just a few trading days left in the year, and a historic interest rate increase finally behind us, stocks could still manage growth in 2015. The S&P 500 is down roughly 1% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average has slipped by only 2% since the beginning of the year.

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In the shortened trading week ahead, apparel and footwear titan Nike may dazzle investors with its quarterly earnings announcement on Tuesday. The government will also issue a new reading on economic growth that morning. And on Wednesday, egg giant Cal-Main aims to post a massive profit gain as part of its fiscal second quarter results.

Tuesday, Dec. 22 - Nike's sharply improving business

Heading into its fiscal second-quarter release, Nike is the best performing stock among the 30 components of the Dow. Shares are up 39%, year-to-date, compared to a slight decrease for the index as a whole.

Source: Federal Reserve Economic Data.

With the Federal Reserve having officially started its initiative of raising interest rates toward more normal levels, GDP growth will play a key role in determining how quickly the central bank jacks up rates over the coming years.

Wednesday, Dec. 23 - Cal-Maine Foods' record profits

Cal-Maine, the nation's largest egg producer, will post quarterly earnings results after the market closes on Wednesday. The stock has had a great year so far, up 20% as a historic spike in egg prices has boosted profits.

Inside Cal-Maine's production facility. Image source: Cal-Maine investor presentation.

Earnings for the twelve months ended in June soared 47% higher to $3.33 per share. That boost was powered by a bird flu outbreak that crimped the supply of eggs, leading to a significant increase in average selling prices: Egg prices this summer rose 66% to reach record levels .

Wall Street is looking for a massive increase in profits this quarter as earnings are expected to improve 224% to $2.46 per share. And it's likely that sales growth was robust, even with the sharply higher prices. "Demand trends for eggs from the retail and egg products markets have been favorable throughout the first quarter," CEO Dolph Baker said at Cal Main's last quarterly check in. If that trend continued into the producer's fiscal second-quarter, then shareholders could see more gains ahead for the stock.

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The article What to Watch in the Stock Market This Week originally appeared on

Demitrios Kalogeropoulos owns shares of Nike. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nike. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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