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Salesforce, Snowflake, Peloton, Dell, Federal Reserve: 5 Things You Must Know

Stock futures are lower with investors hoping a Fed symposium sheds some light on the central bank's plans for tapering stimulus; Dell and Peloton report earnings; Salesforce boosts revenue guidance; Snowflake lifts forecast for product sales.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Aug. 26:

1. -- Stock Futures Mostly Lower as Fed Gathering to Begin

Stock futures indicated a mostly lower open for Wall Street on Thursday with investors hoping a Federal Reserve symposium sheds some light on the central bank's plans for tapering stimulus.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 26 points, S&P 500 futures fell 2 points and Nasdaq futures declined 16 points. 

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 closed at record highs for a second straight day as investors awaited the start of the Federal Reserve gathering in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is scheduled to make a speech Friday at the retreat. Many investors believe the Fed chief won't make waves by announcing a timeline on tapering since the highly contagious delta virus strain has become a major risk to an economic recovery in the U.S. and the world.

Officials at the Federal Reserve have split on the timing for the central bank to begin paring back on its $120 billion a month of asset purchases. Some have said they believe it would be appropriate for the central bank to begin tapering asset purchases this year, while others said they preferred to wait for more solid economic data, especially on employment.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury rose early Thursday to 1.353%.

2. -- Thursday's Calendar: Dell and Peloton Earnings, GDP and Jobless Claims

The economic calendar in the U.S. Thursday includes the second estimate of second-quarter GDP at 8:30 a.m. ET and weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected from Dell Technologies  (DELL) - Get Dell Technologies Inc Class C Report, Vmware  (VMW) - Get VMware, Inc. Class A Report, Workday  (WDAY) - Get Workday, Inc. (WDAY) Report, Dollar General  (DG) - Get Dollar General Corporation Report, Marvell Technology  (MRVL) - Get Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Report, HP Inc.  (HPQ) - Get HP Inc. (HPQ) Report, Peloton Interactive  (PTON) - Get Peloton Interactive, Inc. Class A Report, Dollar Tree  (DLTR) - Get Dollar Tree, Inc. Report and Gap Inc.  (GPS) - Get Gap, Inc. (GPS) Report.

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3. -- Salesforce Rises on Boost in Revenue Guidance

Sales of Salesforce.com  (CRM) - Get salesforce.com, inc. Report were rising in premarket trading Thursday after the business-software provider, which has benefited from the increased emphasis on cloud-computing during the pandemic, raised its revenue guidance for the third quarter and full year.

Salesforce posted second-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts' expectations and said it estimates fiscal third-quarter revenue of $6.78 billion to $6.79 billion and full-year revenue of $26.2 billion to $26.3 billion. Both periods will include revenue from Slack, which was acquired by Salesforce last month for $27.7 billion.

Salesforce Chief Operating Officer Bret Taylor told The Wall Street Journal in an
interview that the spread of the more infectious delta variant has reinforced the adoption of digital tools.

"Delta has shown this virus is not going away," he told the Journal.

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The stock was rising 2.35% to $266.98 early Thursday. Salesforce shares have risen 17% year to date.

"All in, this was a fantastic quarter from Salesforce, with almost nothing to nitpick - just an across-the-board beat with the guidance to match," said Jim Cramer and the Action Alerts PLUS team, which holds Salesforce in its portfolio. "We expect analysts all over Wall Street will be raising numbers come Thursday morning."

Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of Salesforce, told Cramer on "Mad Money" Wednesday evening that his company expanded its gross margins during the second quarter and saw solid cash flow improvements. 

Benioff also said Salesforce added new customers like Ikea and insurance giant GEICO. Ikea, Benioff said, is undergoing a digital transformation and it needed tools like sales, service, commerce and marketing clouds, all of which will soon be integrated with Slack to ease communications.

4. -- Snowflake Lifts Forecast for Product Sales

Snowflake  (SNOW) - Get SNOWFLAKE, INC. Report traded higher early Thursday after the cloud software company reported a jump of more than 100% in second-quarter revenue and boosted its forecast for product sales.

The company reported a second-quarter loss of 64 cents a share on revenue of $272.2 million, up 104% from a year earlier. Analysts had been expecting a loss of 15 cents a share on revenue of $256.1 million.

Product revenue in the second quarter was $254.6 million, up 103%.

Snowflake said it expects third-quarter product revenue of between $280 million and $285 million, and full-year product revenue of $1.06 billion to $1.07 billion, above its previous forecast.

The stock rose 2.52% to $290.90 in premarket trading.

5. -- Western Digital Extends Gains on Report of Possible Kioxia Mergeer

Western Digital  (WDC) - Get Western Digital Corporation Report extended gains in premarket trading following a report that said the data storage device maker was engaged in advanced merger talks with Japan's Kioxia Holdings.

A deal between Western Digital and Kioxia could be valued at more than $20 billion, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

Long-running discussions between the companies have heated up in the past few weeks and they could reach agreement on a deal as early as mid-September, people familiar with the matter told the Journal. There is no guarantee a deal will be completed, the Journal noted.

Western Digital, which currently has a market cap of about $19 billion, would pay for the deal with stock and the combined company likely would be run by Western Digital's CEO David Goeckeler, the report added.

Shares of Western Digital rose 0.9% to $66.09 early Thursday. The stock jumped 7.8% on Wednesday after reports of the deal first surfaced.