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Paul Sakuma / AP

In many ways this tends to be one of Apple's least telling quarters. The new iPhones are still several months out and the old ones have been on the market for a while. Nonetheless, here's our cheat sheet for Apple, which reports earning after the close on Tuesday.

The numbers: Apple tends to exceed estimates. Here's what Wall Street is expecting, according to Zacks Investment Research.

  • Per-share earnings: $2.01, unchanged from last year (Zacks)
  • Revenue: $52.6 billion (Zacks)

What I'm looking for: The main thing I am looking for is "the one sentence." By that, I mean that one line Apple sometimes gives on a new area. "TV is a hobby," was an early example of this. I want to know what Apple has to say, for example, about cars.

I wouldn't be surprised to hear Apple CEO Tim Cook say a teensy bit more about Apple's car effort. I'm not talking a roadmap or anything, but now that its permit to test self-driving cars is public, I think he might try to set some expectations.

What I don't expect: I'd be surprised to hear Apple share any expectations around the next iPhone. It's just too soon. Even if it already expects shipments of the high-end model to be limited, it's likely to wait until next quarter to say so, and usually things are in too much flux at this point anyway.

The noise: Expect the media to make a lot about Apple's cash balance. Yes, $250 billion is a lot but so was the $249 billion the day before they crossed that threshhold. I'm not even all that interested about if they are able to repatriate. I am VERY interested the day they start to use that massive stockpile.

Go deeper

House passes sweeping election and anti-corruption bill

Photo: Win McNamee via Getty Images

The House voted 220-210Wednesday to pass Democrats' expansive election and anti-corruption bill.

Why it matters: Expanding voting access has been a top priority for Democrats for years, but the House passage of the For the People Act (H.R. 1) comes as states across the country consider legislation to rollback voting access in the aftermath of former President Trump's loss.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

House passes George Floyd Justice in Policing Act

Photo: Stephen Maturen via Getty Images

The House voted 220 to 212 on Wednesday evening to pass a policing bill named for George Floyd, the Black man whose death in Minneapolis last year led to nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice.

Why it matters: The legislation overhauls qualified immunity for police officers, bans chokeholds at the federal level, prohibits no-knock warrants in federal drug cases and outlaws racial profiling.

8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans plan to exact pain before COVID relief vote

Sen. Ron Johnson. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Republicans are demanding a full, 600-page bill reading — and painful, multi-hour "vote-a-rama" — as Democrats forge ahead with their plan to pass President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Why it matters: The procedural war is aimed at forcing Democrats to defend several parts the GOP considers unnecessary and partisan. While the process won't substantially impact the final version of the mammoth bill, it'll provide plenty of ammunition for future campaign messaging.