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Futures Hold Losses After Jobless Claims Data

U.S. stock index futuresremained lower Thursday following a tepid jobless claims report and as investors remained cautious a day before the annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Investors will listen carefully to Chairman Ben Bernanke’s speech on Friday at the annual symposium for hints of further monetary easing.

Jobless claims was unchanged last week, holding at a seasonally adjusted 374,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 370,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims rose 1,500 to 370,250.

Consumer spending gained 0.4 percent in July, climbing by the most in five months, according to the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, income increased 0.3 percent.

Costco and Limited Brands edged higher after both retailers topped same-store sales expectationsin August.

Among earnings, Pandora surged after the Internet radio company posted earnings that topped expectations and boosted its current-quarter revenue outlook.

Apparel store Zumiez is slated to post results after the closing bell.

Sears Holdings will lose its place in the S&P 500 index after the close of trading next Tuesday because the stock’s public float has been below the 50 percent of the index requirement “for an extended period of time.” Sears will be replaced by chemical maker LyondellBasell .

The Carlyle Group said it will acquire DuPont's performance coatings unit for $4.9 billionand will also take on $250 million of DuPont's unfunded pension liabilities.

European shares pared losses after a successful Italian bond auction.

The government is scheduled to auction $29 billion in 7-year notes with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.

By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

Coming Up This Week:

THURSDAY: 7-yr note auction; Earnings from Zumiez
FRIDAY: Chicago PMI, consumer sentiment, factory orders, farm prices, Bernanke's Jackson Hole speech

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