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KENTUCKY DERBY

May 3

The race for the Triple Crown begins today with the Kentucky Derby. Big Brown is the odds-on favorite to take the crown this year. If he wins the derby, often the kiss of death for crown hopefuls, Big Brown may be worth as much as $30 million.

PRIMARY RACE

May 6

With Democratic nomination still up in the air, Barack Obama and HiIlary Clinton will battle it out in Indiana and North Carolina. Even after Clinton's recent comeback in Pennsylvania, many are calling the Hoosier state a must-win if her candidacy is to continue.

PG&E (PCG)

May 6

Higher fuel costs, tougher regulation, and reliance on debt mean trouble for the utility. PG&E is expected to report earnings of 68 cents per share for its 2008 first quarter, a 4% dip from the same quarter last year.

CISCO SYSTEMS (CSCO)

May 6, 4:30 p.m. EDT

The IT sector continues to perform well in the face of a slowing economy. The biggest maker of computer networking equipment is expected to beat the earnings estimate of 36 cents per share for its fiscal third quarter, which would be a 6% jump from the same quarter a year ago.

DIRECTV (DTV)

May 7

The digital cable provider reports its first-quarter results today with earnings per share expected to be 31 cents, up 15% from the same quarter last year. Analysts predict a tougher second quarter: The housing crisis has put a dent in new subscribers, and the company lost a distribution deal with AT&T (T).

EURO RETAIL SALES

May 7, 5 a.m. EDT

Retail sales for the euro zone contracted in February, dropping 0.2% year over year, but the three-month trend is still showing overall improvement in the area.

U.S. CONSUMER CREDIT

May 7, 3 p.m. EDT

February consumer debt increased $5.2 billion, indicating that consumer use of debit cards and home equity loans has not slowed. Figures for March are expected to be on par with seasonal results from years past.

NEWS CORP. (NWS)

May 7, 4 p.m. EDT

Rupert Murdoch's media giant, which is mulling a bid with Microsoft (MSFT) for Yahoo! (YHOO), continues to report strong earnings in 2008. Its third-quarter results are expected to reach 32 cents per share, a 19% jump from the same period a year ago.

WHOLE FOODS MARKET (WFMI)

May 9

With its well-heeled clientele, the purveyor of natural and organic fare is better poised to shrug off a consumer crunch than more down-market rivals.Its fiscal second-quarter earnings per share are expected to reach 31 cents, a 1 cents drop from the same quarter a year ago.

TRADE GAP

May 9, 8:30 a.m. EDT

After a surprise month-over-month expansion in February, from $59 billion to $62.3 billion, the trade deficit is expected to narrow again in March to $60.5 billion. Exports should increase 1.1%, because of the combination of a weak dollar and strong performance by U.S. goods abroad.


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