Cisco, Dell Top the Week’s News

Earnings reports from Cisco and Dell will likely be the biggest news for investors this week.

Investors will grade Cisco’s quarterly report card after the close on Wednesday. Analysts are looking for earnings of 24 cents a share from the networking giant, and sales are expected to rise 10% to $6.58 billion. While that is certainly slower growth than investors were used to in the company’s heyday, at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 15 and a price-to-earnings growth ratio of just over 1, the stock is the cheapest it’s been in years.

Dell will follow with its quarterly report after the close on Thursday, and investors will be hoping for better than the company’s Halloween surprise of a week ago. Analysts will be listening carefully to the company’s conference call to determine if Dell’s warning was company-specific — which could signal big change in the industry — or whether it points to broader weakness in IT spending.

Stocks got a boost Monday from a big drop in oil prices. The economic calendar is light this week, with next week’s wholesale and consumer inflation data the next big economic reports.

The Nasdaq rose 9 to 2178, the S&P 500 climbed 2 to 1222, and the Dow gained 55 to 10,586. Volume declined to 1.96 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.59 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 18-14 on the NYSE, and 17-13 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 58% on the NYSE, and 60% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 95-90 on the NYSE, and 127-45 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, tumbled 12% after beating sales estimates but missing earnings estimates.

During the day, Homestore jumped 18% on a $100 million investment. The company reports earnings Tuesday night.

Geac Computer soared 22% on a buyout offer.

Wireless Facilities lost 12% on a warning.

Apple fell 1.5% on a downgrade and lukewarm comments from Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal.

Note: The Technical Analysis column will return on Tuesday.

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