U.S stock index futures slipped slightly Thursday following the jobless claims report and ahead of the start of a two-day EU summit in Brussels.
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Weekly jobless claims rebounded 46, 000 to a seasonally adjusted 388, 000, according to the Labor Department.
Last week, claims tumbled to 339, 000, hitting the lowest level since February 2008, but the report was distorted by one large state not posting its claims number for the week as expected.
European shares edged lower as EU leaders prepare to meet at a summit in Brussels where they will try to bridge differences over plans for a banking union, a step to solve the ongoing sovereign debt crisis. This marks the fourth time EU leaders have met this year and the 22nd summit held since the start of the crisis in 2009.
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However, European officials are not expected to discuss Greece, Spain or Cyprus at the summit, according to a Reuters report. Meanwhile, a 24-hour general strike is expected in Greece on Thursday.
Among earnings, Morgan Stanley rose after the banking giant reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat analysts' expectations.