US STOCKS-Wall St advances as Oracle leads techs


 * Tech shares rise after Oracle signals strong tech spend
 * BlackBerry maker RIM slips after disappointing outlook
 * Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
  (Updates to early morning trade)
 By Angela Moon
 NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - Technology stocks led Wall
Street higher on Friday after Oracle's upbeat outlook, putting
all three major stock indexes on track to end the week in
positive territory after two weeks of declines.
 Oracle Corp (ORCL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares rose 3.6 percent to $33.30
after at least 12 brokerages raised their price targets on the
stock. The business software maker forecast a rise in new
software sales in its fiscal fourth quarter, fueling hopes a
global resurgence in technology spending remained intact. For
details, see [ID:nL3E7EP1HG] and [ID:nN24301684]
 In a further boost to techs, Accenture (ACN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 5.5
percent to $54.82 after the technology outsourcing and
consulting company raised its outlook. [ID:nN24180187]
 But BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd
(RIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(RIMM.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said earnings would slip as it spends heavily
to launch its PlayBook tablet. The stock fell 10.2 percent to
$57.50. [ID:nN24175647]
 The S&P technology index (.GSPT: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 0.5 percent on
Friday, and is up 3.5 percent so far this quarter.
 The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 55.36
points, or 0.45 percent, at 12,225.92. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 5.05 points, or 0.39 percent, at
1,314.71. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) was up 14.47
points, or 0.53 percent, at 2,750.89.
 Still, analysts were concerned that the next earnings
period that starts in April could put the brakes on stocks.
 "With about two weeks to go before the first quarter
earnings releases begin and notwithstanding these good reports
(from Oracle and Accenture), the market has to prepare for what
I believe will be a more challenging quarter relative to
expectations on the margin side," said Peter Boockvar, equity
strategist at Miller Tabak + Co in New York.
 He said Oracle and Accenture were somewhat immune to the
rise in commodity prices, adding that with corporate profit
margins at near-record highs, there was "little room for
error."
 He also was watching for business disruptions from the
Japanese disaster.
 The U.S. economy grew more quickly than previously
estimated in the fourth quarter as businesses restocked shelves
to meet rising demand, while consumer sentiment fell to its
lowest level in more than a year in March. [ID:nN25243056]







US STOCKS-Wall St advances as Oracle leads techs