An Eventful Week

Earnings reports from technology bellwethers Cisco Systems and Dell promise to make this week an eventful one for investors.

As if that weren’t excitement enough, the Federal reserve will likely raise short-term interest rates for the fourth time this year on Wednesday.

Cisco will report its quarterly results after the close on Tuesday. Analysts are looking for earnings of 21 cents a share on revenues of $6.02 billion, up from 17 cents and $5.1 billion a year ago.

Deutsche Bank on Monday said it expects Cisco’s results to be “lackluster,” with strength in Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), home networking and security, but enterprise spending slower than expected.

Shares of Cisco have fallen 30% from their peak in January.

Dell will report after the close on Thursday. Analysts expect earnings of 33 cents a share on revenues of $12.54 billion, up from 26 cents and $10.62 billion in the year-ago quarter. Dell shares hit a new 52-week high on Monday.

With all that on deck, it’s little wonder stocks had a difficult time establishing direction on Monday, spending the day in a narrow trading range.

The Nasdaq edged fractionally higher to 2039, the S&P 500 slipped 1 to 1164, and the Dow climbed 3 to 10,391. Volume declined to 1.36 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.61 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 20-12 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 56% on the NYSE, and 47% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 210-9 on the NYSE, and 154-28 on the Nasdaq.

Novell jumped 9.5% on an antitrust settlement with Microsoft .

eBay and Yahoo climbed on J.P. Morgan upgrades.

Symbol fell 7% after delaying its 10-Q filing to resolve inventory reporting issues.

Arch Wireless surged 17% after the company said its merger with Metrocell was nearing Justice Department approval.

Infonet lost ground despite a takeover offer from British Telecom .

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