Markets End Flat, Facebook Faceplants, Oracle Sued

Markets closed mixed on Wall Street today: Dow -0.14%, S&P +0.01%, Nasdaq +0.46%, Oil +1.17%, Gold -0.14%.

On the commodities front, Oil (NYSE:USO) rose to $84.14 a barrel. Precious metals declined, with Gold (NYSE:GLD) falling to $1620 an ounce while Silver (NYSE:SLV) fell 0.29% to settle at $28.21.

Here’s your Cheat Sheet to today’s top stock stories:

A case that possibly marks the “end of a marriage” between tech giants Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) and Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ) started its certainly acrimonious course today in the courtroom of Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg. The high-profile case, with HP seeking $4 billion in damages from Oracle, could be the media’s delight with personalities such as Larry Ellison, Mark Hurd and HP’s Ann Livermore taking the stand.

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Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) has beaten out other tech biggies for a deal that may be the newest signal that social media marketing is the next big buzz. The company announced on Monday that it had completed its acquisition of social media marketer Buddy Media in a nearly $700 million cash-and-shares deal.

Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) faced another rough day in the markets.  Its shares dropped 82 cents per share (almost 3%) to close at $26.90. Earlier in the day, Bernstein Research analyst Carlos Kirjner initiated coverage on the stock and gave it an “Underperform” rating, or the equivalent of sell with a $25 price target, reported MarketWatch. Kirjner wrote in his research note that Facebook is about to face several issues that could affect its revenue growth.

On Monday, an extraordinarily large number of external shareholders voted against the election of Wal-Mart’s (NYSE:WMT) top leadership through their more than 30% of votes against the company’s chairman, CEO and former CEO, according to a New York City Office of the Comptroller analysis. The negative vote comes after the New York Times reported that the company had supposedly authorized millions of dollars in Mexico bribes to speed up the receipt of building permits.

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