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Covid-19's Deadliest Day, Snowflake, Splunk, Jobless Claims - 5 Things You Must Know Thursday

A Wall Street rally fueled by vaccine breakthroughs is tempered by the deadliest day in the U.S. from Covid-19; Snowflake issues a soft product sales forecast; Splunk sinks after reporting a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss.

Here are five things you must know for Thursday, Dec. 3:

1. -- Stock Futures Mixed as U.S. Records Deadliest Day From Covid-19

Stock futures were mixed Thursday as a rally fueled by vaccine breakthroughs was tempered by the deadliest day in the U.S. from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 10 points, S&P 500 futures were up 1 point and Nasdaq futures rose 32 points. 

Wednesday was the deadliest day for Covid-19 fatalities, with more than 2,700 Americans dying from the disease, according to Johns Hopkins University. The number of Covid-19 patients in U.S. hospitals topped 100,000 for the first time.

The enthusiasm that followed Great Britain becoming the first western country to approve a Covid-19 vaccine - the shot from Pfizer  (PFE) - Get Pfizer Inc. Report and BioNTech  (BNTX) - Get BioNTech SE Report - was dented by the realization the U.S. could be in for a very difficult winter until a vaccine is widely distributed.

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that total deaths from Covid-19 could reach “close to 450,000” by February unless Americans take greater precautions.

“The reality is, December and January and February are going to be rough times,” said Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the CDC. “I actually believe they’re going to be the most difficult time in the public health history of this nation.”

On Wednesday, the S&P 500 posted its second straight record close  after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for stimulus talks to begin. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Congress on Wednesday to approve a Covid-19 relief bill.

Asian shares finished mostly to the upside Thursday while stocks in Europe traded mixed.

For more on Asian markets read:

Beijing Is China's Only Shining Northern City as Center of Economic Gravity Moves South

2. -- Thursday's Calendar: Jobless Claims, Marvell Technology Earnings

The economic calendar Thursday includes weekly Jobless Claims at 8:30 a.m. ET, the PMI Composite Final for November at 9:45 a.m. and the ISM Services Index for November at 10 a.m.

Earnings reports are expected Thursday from Marvell Technology  (MRVL) - Get Marvell Technology, Inc. Report, DocuSign  (DOCU) - Get DocuSign, Inc. Report, Kroger  (KR) - Get Kroger Co. Report, Cloudera  (CLDR) - Get Cloudera, Inc. Report, Ulta Beauty  (ULTA) - Get Ulta Beauty Inc Report, Michaels Cos.  (MIK) - Get Michaels Companies Inc Report, Signet Jewelers  (SIG) - Get Signet Jewelers Limited Report, Zuora  (ZUO) - Get Zuora, Inc. Class A Report and Lands' End  (LE) - Get Lands' End, Inc. Report.

Dollar General's  (DG) - Get Dollar General Corporation Report third-quarter earnings beat analysts' estimates as same-store sales rose 12.2%.

Marvell Technology is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells MRVL? Learn more now.

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3. --  Snowflake Falls on Soft Forecast

Snowflake  (SNOW) - Get Snowflake, Inc. Class A Report was falling in premarket trading Thursday after the cloud company posted a wider-than-expected loss in its first report as a public company and issued a soft product sales forecast.

Snowflake estimated product revenue in the January quarter of $162 million to $167 million, up between 97% and 103% from a year earlier. Analysts predicted $166 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Product revenue makes up more than 90% of Snowflake's sales.

Snowflake went public in mid-September at $120 a share in the biggest U.S. initial public offering this year. The stock was down 2.75% in premarket trading Thursday to $284.63.

The company reported a third-quarter loss of $168.9 million, or $1.01 a share, on revenue of $159.6 million. A year earlier, Snowflake lost $88.1 million, or $1.92 a share, on revenue of $73 million.

Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting a loss of 26 cents a share on revenue of $147.7 million.

“We are pleased with our performance this first quarter as a public company,” said Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman. “The period was marked by continued strong revenue growth coupled with improving unit economics, cash flow, and operating efficiencies."

4. -- Splunk Sinks on Wider-Than-Expected Loss

Splunk  (SPLK) - Get Splunk Inc. Report, a provider of data-analysis software, was sinking in premarket trading after reporting a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss.

For the quarter ended Oct. 31, Splunk’s loss widened to $1.26 a share from 38 cents a share a year earlier. quarter. On an adjusted basis, Splunk posted a loss of 7 cents a share.

Revenue in the third quarter dropped to $558.6 million from $626.3 million

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $613 million.

Splunk also estimated fiscal fourth-quarter revenue of $650 million to $700 million, below Wall Street forecasts of $777.9 million.

The stock dropped 20.81% in premarket trading Thursday to $163.05.

5. -- Waddell & Reed to Be Bought for $1.7 Billion

Asset manager Waddell & Reed Financial  (WDR) - Get Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. Class A Report soared Thursday after reaching an agreement to be acquired by Australia's Macquarie Group for $1.7 billion.

Waddell & Reed will be acquired for $25 a share in cash. Once the deal closes, Macquarie will sell off Waddell & Reed’s wealth management platform to LPL Financial for $300 million.

Shares of Waddell & Reed jumped 46.33% to $24.89 in premarket trading.