(Reuters) – The tech-heavy Nasdaq was set to open slightly higher on Wednesday after upbeat business updates from Salesforce and HP Enterprise, while the S&P 500 headed for a subdued start.
Salesforce.com Inc, which is set to enter the blue-chip Dow index next week, jumped 14.3% in premarket trading after the cloud software maker raised its annual revenue forecast on surging demand for its online business software.
Income-tax filing software firm Intuit Inc advanced 6.1% after it reported a 17% rise in quarterly revenue, while Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co added 7.2% as its full-year profit outlook came ahead of market expectations.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq hit a series of record closing highs recently, driven by stimulus and demand for tech-focused stocks, even though economic data pointed to an uneven recovery from a recession. A survey on Tuesday showed U.S. consumer confidence hit a six-year low in August.
All eyes will be on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s address at the virtual Jackson Hole symposium before markets open on Thursday, where he is expected to outline a softer policy stance on inflation.
“We know that he’s going to speak about inflation, and that he’s going to say that the Fed remains committed to use all the necessary tools to help the economy as needed,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
“A lot of this is already in the marketplace, but the market wants confirmation of it.”
At 8:44 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 29 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.12%.
Nordstrom Inc tumbled 5.1% after reporting a bigger-than-expected loss as its stores were shuttered for about half of the reported quarter and consumers stayed at home with little need for designer clothes.
Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur