3 Dates to Circle in September

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Summer's heating up and heading out, but that doesn't mean that investors can tap the snooze bar and belt out that Green Day tune about waking up after September ends. Earnings season may be fading, but there are still plenty of things that investors will be keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

The market never sleeps, and September is never a month to take lightly. Here are a few of the days I plan to approach with eyes wide open this month.

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Sept. 7

Earnings reports are down to a trickle, but there are a couple of interesting updates slated for Thursday. Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) is the last major bookseller standing, but this doesn't mean that it's standing upright. Analysts see another quarterly loss of declining sales. Barnes & Noble has struggled as bibliophiles have embraced digital delivery and its Nook failed to catch on the way that the Kindle, and to a lesser extent the iPad, did.

An interesting backdrop to the Barnes & Noble story is that there could be a swirl of buyout activity. The chain hasn't confirmed the chatter, but Dealreporter this week was reporting that the bookseller has engaged in talks with potential private equity suitors through a financial advisor.

Redfin (NASDAQ: RDFN) is another company checking in with fresh financials on Thursday. The online real estate portal was a hot debutante when it went public five weeks ago, but the stock has cooled in recent days. Redfin stock has shed a third of its value since peaking a week after its IPO, but it's still trading 49% above its debut price of $15. Investors have kept new stocks on short leashes this year, and it will have to justify its big initial gains in its first report as a public company.

Sept. 12

There's been a lot of hype surrounding the iPhone 8, and in less than two weeks, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) will know if it was able to live up to the buzz. Apple confirmed on Thursday that it will be hosting a media event on Sept. 12.

It's been 10 summers since the original iPhone was unveiled, redefining the consumer wireless market in the process. Apple stock has been hot this year, rising on the anticipation of warm market reception for the iPhone 8. Now it's time to live up to the expectations.

Sept. 22

Multiplex operators have been struggling this summer with ticket sales trailing last year's ho-hum box-office tallies. September is typically a slow month for releases, but Time Warner (NYSE: TWX) is hoping to get moviegoers back to the theater with The LEGO Ninjago Movie.

This will be Time Warner's third installment in the movie series starring the brick-snapped action figures. The first two have served Time Warner well. The LEGO Movie took in $258 million in domestic ticket sales in 2014, and The LEGO Batman Movie scored $175 million earlier this year.

Time Warner also scored a hit with Wonder Woman, this year's second-highest-grossing film. Time Warner naturally wants a hit, but it wouldn't be a surprise if multiplex operators need it more.

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Rick Munarriz owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Time Warner. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.