Business news

Oracle’s quarter troubles industry

SAN FRANCISCO — Oracle stumbled in its latest quarter as the business software maker struggled to close deals, a signal of possible trouble ahead for the technology sector.

The performance announced Tuesday covered a period of economic turbulence that has raised concerns that companies and government agencies could curtail technology spending. Oracle issued a forecast calling for meager growth in the current quarter. The developments alarmed investors, causing Oracle shares to slide 10 percent.

In a telling sign of weakening demand, Oracle’s sales of new software licenses edged up just 2 percent from the same time last year. Analysts had expected a double-digit gain in new software licenses.

In other earnings news:

  • Nike Inc.’s second-quarter profit rose 3 percent as strong demand and higher prices for its shoes, clothes and gear offset increased costs.
  • Food maker ConAgra Foods’ second-quarter net income fell 15 percent, but results beat expectations as the company raised prices to offset continuing higher prices.

In other news

  • The Federal Reserve on Tuesday said the largest U.S. banks and financial companies should hold extra cash on their balance sheets to cushion themselves against financial crises.
  • Research In Motion Ltd. has turned down takeover overtures from Inc. and other potential buyers because the BlackBerry maker prefers to fix its problems on its own, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

– From wire reports