No Treats from Dell

Dell had no Halloween treat for investors on Monday, instead issuing a warning that its quarterly sales and earnings will be below Wall Street expectations.

Dell is now projecting pro forma earnings of 39 cents a share — a penny below estimates — and sales of $13.9 billion will come in below $14.3 billion forecasts.

Dell blamed the shortfall on its U.S. consumer and UK businesses.

The company also announced a $450 million charge, or 14 cents a share. More than $300 million of the charge is associated with the cost of servicing systems “that included a vendor part that failed to perform to Dell’s specifications,” Dell said. “This issue is limited to a small percentage of previous generation OptiPlex desktop systems.” The charge also includes the costs of workforce realignment, product rationalizations and excess facilities, the company said.

Dell shares fell 5% in after-hours trading. It was the latest mixed report in an earnings season that has seen more than its share from big names. Dell will report full results Nov. 10.

Stocks rose Monday on reports that consumer spending has held steady despite higher energy costs from Gulf Coast hurricanes. The Federal Reserve on Tuesday is expected to raise interest rates for the 12th time in 16 months.

The Nasdaq surged 30 to 2120, the S&P 500 rose 8 to 1207, and the Dow climbed 37 to 10,440. Volume rose to 2.57 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.93 billion on the Nasdaq. Advancers led 25-8 on the NYSE, and 22-8 on the Nasdaq. Upside volume was 77% on the NYSE, and 82% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 106-90 on the NYSE, and 111-54 on the Nasdaq.

Orckit rocketed 35% on its results, and Brightpoint rose 13% on its earnings.

PMC-Sierra jumped 12% on an acquisition.

Apple climbed 6% after reporting brisk video downloads.

Cognizant lost 3% despite beating estimates.

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