Oracle, Fed Highlight Busy Week

Oracle’s earnings and another expected interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve could make Tuesday an eventful day for investors.

Inflation data will also play a key role this week, with wholesale inflation data due out before the market opens on Tuesday and the consumer price index following on Wednesday morning.

The Federal Reserve will likely raise interest rates for the seventh time in less than a year Tuesday afternoon. Investors are at this point resigned to further rate hikes, and will be looking instead for the Fed to maintain its promise to do so at a “measured” pace.

Oracle will report its quarterly results after the close on Tuesday, and analysts are looking for a 25% increase in earnings to 15 cents a share on $3.07 billion in revenues. That’s impressive growth, but Oracle’s stock has been held back by the company’s aggressive acquisition strategy, stuck in a trading range between $10 and $15 a share for more than two years.

The broader market closed lower Monday, with oil prices and inflation fears once again taking center stage.

The Nasdaq slipped fractionally to 2007, the S&P 500 lost 5 to 1183, and the Dow fell 64 to 10,565. Volume fell to 1.83 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.65 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 23-9 on the NYSE, and 16-14 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 68% on the NYSE, and 43% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 55-70 on the NYSE, and 48-97 on the Nasdaq.

AskJeeves surged 18% on news that it will be acquired by InterActiveCorp .

Sungard soared nearly 25% after the company confirmed it is in acquisition talks.

Rambus soared 30% after settling its long-running patent dispute with Infineon .

Pinnacle surged on news that it will be acquired by Avid .

NetApp lost 4% on a Smith Barney downgrade.

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