RealTime IT News

Investors Await HP, Inflation Data

Investors spooked by weak technology earnings and inflation fears will have plenty to consider this week.

With earnings reports from HP , Applied Materials and Dell , and wholesale and retail inflation reports, this week could turn out to be a pivotal one for the stock market.

HP will report its results after the close on Tuesday, and analysts expect the company's profit rebound to continue with earnings of 49 cents a share, up from 37 cents in the year-ago quarter. Sales are expected to climb 4.8% to $22.6 billion. While the lack of top line growth has been a concern for analysts, just meeting estimates could be enough to give HP shares a lift in the wake of last week's disappointing earnings news from Dell and Cisco and other recent disappointments from the likes of Intel and Microsoft .

AMAT will also report its results Tuesday night, and Dell will formally report its earnings Thursday night.

Wholesale and retail inflation data due out Tuesday and Wednesday morning is expected to show much the same pattern as in recent months — with inflation pressures in the headline number, but the core number showing that underlying inflation remains tame.

Stocks started lower once again on Monday ahead of this week's news, but blue chips recovered to post a gain by the close. Techs lost ground for the fifth straight session, but finished well off their lows.

The Nasdaq lost 5 to 2238, the S&P 500 gained 3 to 1294, and the Dow rose 47 to 11,428. Volume declined to 2.5 billion shares on the NYSE, and 2.05 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 18-13 on the NYSE, and 19-10 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 56% on the NYSE, and 66% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 32-189 on the NYSE, and 64-148 on the Nasdaq.

First Avenue Networks and SSA soared on buyout offers.

A Consulting Team fell on its results, while Simclar gained on its earnings.