Oracle, Fed Top the Week’s News

Earnings from Oracle and the Federal Reserve’s expected ninth interest rate hike in a year will likely dominate this week’s financial news.

Oracle will report its quarterly results before the market open on Wednesday. Analysts are looking for earnings of 23 cents a share, up from 19 cents a year ago, on sales of $3.89 billion. Investors will also be watching all-important new license sales and how the acquisition of PeopleSoft is affecting results.

The Fed is expected to hike rates once again Thursday afternoon — but with the economy rapidly slowing, Fed funds futures are betting that the Fed will be done with its rate hike campaign by its August meeting, if not sooner.

The wild card will be inflation, and with oil closing above $60 a barrel for the first time on Monday, investors will have to wait until mid-July to see what effect persistently high oil prices are having on inflation.

Stocks closed mildly lower on Monday as oil prices hit another new all-time high.

The Nasdaq lost 8 to 2045, the S&P slipped 1 to 1990, and the Dow declined 7 to 10,290. Volume declined to 1.76 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.52 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led by a few issues on the NYSE, and by a 17-12 margin on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 58% on the NYSE, and 67% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 129-56 on the NYSE, and 48-54 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, IBM said the SEC was looking into its firs-quarter earnings and stock option expensing. IBM began expensing options for the first time in the quarter.

During the day, Google closed above $300 a share for the first time.

Creative Tech fell 10% on a warning. lost 6% on an acquisition.

Napster gained 7% on a Supreme Court file-sharing ruling.

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