Inflation Data Takes Center Stage

Investors hoping that the Federal Reserve will soon cease its year-long interest rate-hike campaign will be paying close attention to two government inflation reports due out this week.

The Producer Price Index will be reported Tuesday morning, followed by the Consumer Price Index Wednesday morning. Both numbers are expected to come in tame, with neither inflation gauge expected to show more than a 0.2% rise last month.

It would be good news if the wholesale and consumer inflation reports were in line with economists expectations — but with oil prices surging anew, there could be fears that the tame readings could disappear as soon as next month.

With analysts worried about the effect of slowing growth on technology spending and the Fed showing no signs of slowing down, the issue is more than academic for the tech sector.

Stocks posted strong early gains Monday, but gave most of them back by the close after oil prices surged.

The Nasdaq rose 5 to 2068, the S&P climbed 2 to 1200, and the Dow added 9 to 10,522. Volume declined to 1.64 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.47 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 19-13 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 68% on the NYSE, and 62% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 153-37 on the NYSE, and 115-47 on the Nasdaq. climbed 3.6% on a $7.10-a-share buyout offer from RCM Acquisition Co. RCM bid about $5 a share for the company two years ago, and owns about 15% of RCOM shares.

Veritas edged higher after the company’s planned merger with Symantec received a vote of confidence from Institutional Shareholder Services. The merger vote will take place June 24.

BEA Systems lost 3% on a Bear Stearns downgrade.

News Around the Web