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Futures Weaken After GDP, Jobless Claims

Stock index futures lost steam after a gain in jobless claims and after a second reading on first quarter economic growth was reported as unchanged.

Jobless claims rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 424,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. The prior week's claims were revised upward to 414,000 from 404,000. The four week average of claims fell to 438,500.

Also, the second reading on first quarter gross domestic product was reported unchanged 1.8 percent. The GDP Price Index was also unchanged at 3.8 percent, and the GDP Deflator was unchanged at 1.8 percent.

Ongoing concerns about euro zone debt and the possibility of Greece restructuring its debt lingered however, were already keeping gains in check.

The euro got a boost early on Thursday from news that China is interested in buying “bailout bonds” for Portugal.

In Deauville, France, the G8 gets underway. Leaders arrived on Thursday morning for the first meeting following the Arab spring uprising and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In other economic news, reduced its earnings forecast for the S&P 500 to $104 a share from $106.

Sony fell slightly after reporting a jump in net losses from a write-off, but the tech manufacturer forecast a profit for its current financial year. The company's earnings continue to be affected by the March earthquake and tsunami in Japan as well as cyber attacks of its PlayStation Network.

Tiffany , meanwhile, gained after reported higher profits in every region and raised its forecast for the full year. Global sales rose 20 from the first quarter, better than the luxury jewelry retailer's initial forecast.

Meanwhile Heinz rose slightly after reporting higher than expected sales for the quarter ended April 27, although profits for the maker of ketchup and other food products, missed by a penny.

On the initial public offering front, shares of FreeScale Semiconductor Holdings will begin trading under the the ticker "FSL." The offering by the semiconductor company was priced at $18 a share, below the initial price talk of $22 to $24 a share.

European stocks rose in morning trading, as mining stocks lifted the benchmark index in the London market in particular.

On Tap This Week:

THURSDAY:USDA Agricultural Trade Outlook, natural gas inventories, seven-year Treasury note auction, money supply.
FRIDAY: Personal income and spending, consumer sentiment, and pending home sales.

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