As expected on Thursday, Oracle (ORCL) announced numbers that were met mostly with ambivalence by investors, taking the shares down about 4%. The culprit was again the slowdown in licensing growth relative to the strength in the company's cloud business, and of course the guide lower for the current quarter, not to mention the slight miss on estimates.
I had taken to the sidelines going into Oracle earnings and that was the right move. However, Oracle still managed to disappoint by not saying anything about the NetSuite (N) offer except to say the deal had cleared antitrust regulations everywhere except here at home. Co-CEO Safra Catz did mention the waiting period for antitrust clearance in the U.S. expires at the end of September.
I am still confident the company will have to sweeten the deal despite its seeming hard-line stance at the moment with the offer at $109 a share.
So next week brings us yet another FOMC meeting, with the Bank of Japan also getting in on the action at the same time. Again, the world has stopped and is awaiting the words from our "vaunted" Fed. The data the last several weeks have been pretty busy and the odds of the Fed raising next week have dropped below 12% today, but the sense of unease an FOMC meeting creates is very real the world over.
Another overriding theme is the fact that we are again at that time where even the folks who are mostly on the long side are angry at the markets for running away.
You can hear it in their voices and even sense it when they write their articles. I call these longs wolves in sheep clothing, because even though they talk about being long this and long that, they are so underinvested in reality that they actually want the markets to get hit and hit hard.
The tenor of their writing tells you they again have missed the rally while they were waiting for the "big one" like Fred Sanford from Sanford & Son. The "big one" for them is the big correction everyone has been hoping and praying for, which of course includes yours truly from time to time, just to get that over with and behind us. However, we have yet to see the "big one" come, although we certainly have had some heart-stoppers this year.
Next week, in addition to the above two big central bank meetings, we have the usual boatloads of economic data both here and abroad.
In honor of the FOMC and the Bank of Japan meetings next week, let's end the weekend column on the same note we ended last week's column -- with a joke.
Three economists went hunting and came across a large deer. The first economist fired but missed by a meter to the left. The second economist fired but also missed by a meter to the right. The third economist didn't fire, but shouted in triumph, "We got it! We got it!"
With that, I wish each and every one of you a safe and joyful weekend with your loved ones.