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Earnings Preview: Make Way for Retailers

Next week is an eclectic one for earnings.

Retailers are always at the back of pack to report earnings, and the world's largest retailer will report on Thursday.

Dow component Wal-Mart will release holiday quarter earnings before the bell and bullish investors hope to see continued positive U.S. same store sales, as the retailer has finally posted a winning streak for those comps for the past four consecutive quarters.

Now that the payroll tax holiday has expired and gasoline prices are moving higher, the market will be interested to hear how the Wal-Mart consumer is feeling. Additionally, investors will look for any developments in the investigations into bribery allegations.

(Read More: Restored Payroll Tax Pinches Those Who Earn the Least)

Last quarter, Wal-Mart disclosed it is investigating potential Foreign Corrupt Practice Act violations beyond just Mexico, but now also in Brazil, China and India. Analysts' polled by Thomson Reuters expect earnings of $1.57 per share on revenues of $128.8 billion.

(Read More: Wal-Mart CEO Told of Bribery Claims in '05: Congressmen)

High-end department store Nordstorm will report earnings after the bell on Thursday. Wall Street will look to glean insights about the health of the luxury consumer from the results.

While its estimated that 20 percent of all luxury spending in the U.S. occurs in New York City, tourist spending impacts Nordstrom far less than competitors there. The retailer does not currently have a full department store location in the Big Apple. Analysts' forecast earnings of $1.34 per share on revenues of $3.7 billion.

Teen retailer Abercrombie & Fitch will be the last retailer to report, releasing quarterly results before the bell Friday morning. Since the beginning of November 2012, shares have gained nearly 67 percent, and Janney Capital Markets noted there is more room to run.

Despite recent deep promotions, Janney Capital Markets reiterated Abercrombie as its "2013 Best Idea" and believes same store sale performance and margins will improve over the next 12-15 months. Wall Street is expecting the teen retailer to post earnings of $1.95 per share on $1.48 billion in revenue

Jose Luis Pelaez Inc | Blend Images | Getty Images

Hewlett-Packard is the other Dow component of the week, also reporting earnings after the bell Thursday. HPQ is the best performing Dow stock this year — up 19 percent, but it's also still down about 33 percent from last March and down nearly 70 percent from April, 2010. Bullish investors would like to hear commentary from HPQ management that PC demand is picking up, potentially helped by Windows 8, but aren't holding their breath. The Street is looking for earnings of $0.71 cents on revenues of $27.7 billion.

(Read More: Higher Taxes Put the Brakes on Retail Spending)

American International Group, or AIG, also reports after the bell on Thursday, as its shares sit at the highest levels in nearly two years.

The insurer is a big comeback story and is currently Omega Advisors' Leon Cooperman's second favorite stock prick. AIG's earnings report is the first since the U.S. Treasury Department sold off nearly all of it's remaining shares in AIG for a profit of nearly $23 billion in December. Expectations are for the insurer to post a loss of $0.09 per share on revenues of $8.70 billion.

(Read More: Retail Stocks Could Fall Up to 10%: JPMorgan Analyst)

There are a number of other companies reporting earnings beyond those mentioned above including: Express Scripts, Herbalife, Toll Brothers, Newmont Mining, Community Health Systems and Washington Post.

-By CNBC's Courtney Reagan; Follow her on Twitter @CourtReagan

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com.

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