Oracle Becomes Bellwether of Rough Global Economy

Oracle headquarters, Redwood Shores, Calif.
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Oracle headquarters, Redwood Shores, Calif.

If you needed a sign that the global economy is not going along with the program engineered by massive central bank liquidity, look no further than Oracle. The company's shares are down eight percent as earnings fell short for the second quarter in a row. License revenues for their software, the key measure, fell short, up only one percent.

The technology giant never complains about the global economy, but losses weakness in Latin America and Asia indicated that it was an issue. Doubling the dividend doesn't seem to have impressed anyone.

Of course, you can always go with company specific issues, highlighting how Oracle has lagged behind the move from servers on-site to cloud computing. Still, the company vigorously disputes, that and says they are successfully making the transition.

By the way, lots of crowing at the NYSE over its big win on Oracle — shares will begin trading on the NYSE in July. Oracle was a long-time Nasdaq listing and this is a big win for the Big Board.

Oracle will be the largest market transfer EVER among all exchanges, at $156.4 billion.


1) St. Louis Fed President James Bullard to Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke Bernanke: my press release is better than your press release. You know you're in a new era when Bullard, one of two dissenters to Wednesday's FOMC decision, issued his own press release to chastise Bernanke on the timing —and the logic—of Bernanke's announcement.

Here's the relevant paragraph:

"President Bullard also felt that the Committee's decision to authorize the Chairman to lay out a more elaborate plan for reducing the pace of asset purchases was inappropriately timed. The Committee was, through the Summary of Economic Projections process, marking down its assessment of both real GDP growth and inflation for 2013, and yet simultaneously announcing that less accommodative policy may be in store. President Bullard felt that a more prudent approach would be to wait for more tangible signs that the economy was strengthening and that inflation was on a path to return toward target before making such an announcement."

In other words, Bullard told Bernanke what he was doing (lowering growth expectations while simultaneously saying the Fed may taper bond purchases because the economy was doing better) didn't make any sense.

2) The quarterly share rebalancing of the S&P 500, S&P MidCap 400, S&P SmallCap 600 Indices will take place at the close today.

3) Some progress on a banking union in Europe. The ESM (Euriopean Stability Mechanism) will be able to make direct capital injections into banks — prior discussion had the ESM only being permitted to give money to sovereign countries, who could then loan money to banks if they chose to. This created a pernicious circle, where the problems were merely transferred to sovereign balance sheets.

4) rough week for global markets so far this week:

Global Markets (Indices)

S&P 500 -2.4 percent

China -4.1 percent

Spain -2.9 percent

Germany -2.3 percent

Brazil -2.3 percent

Japan 4.3 percent

Emerging Market Funds

Turkey -11.4 percent

Thailand -10.6 percent

Indonesia -9.6 percent

Chile -9.4 percent

Mexico -9.2 percent

By CNBC's Bob Pisani

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.