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Jobless claims, earnings, Democratic debate reaction: 3 things to watch for in the markets on Thursday

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Democratic presidential candidates (L-R) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg at the start of the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images

Here are the most important things to know about Thursday before you hit the door.

1. Jobless claims

We'll get a read on the health of the labor market on Thursday when the Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. Economists are estimating 210,000 Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, according to Dow Jones. This would be down from the previous week's 205,000 claims.

Earlier this month, the closely watched Labor Department report showed nonfarm payrolls surged 225,000 in January, well above Wall Street estimates for a 158,000 gain.

2. Democratic debate Wednesday night

Another Democratic debate takes place on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas ahead of Nevada's caucuses. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts will all face off on the debate stage.

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will also be joining the Democratic debate for the first time after the billionaire media mogul received 19% of support from an NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, allowing him to quality. Bloomberg is now a "top tier candidate who has the money and the polling data to become a contender," Cowen told clients. He has already spent $400 million so far on campaign ads alone.

Bloomberg rolled out a plan on Tuesday to rein in Wall Street, mirroring the platforms of some of his more liberal competitors. If elected, Bloomberg would raise bank capital levels, nationalize Fannie and Freddie and limit high frequency trading, said Cowen.

"We still see Bloomberg as best for financials and housing as he understands the financial system and the economy. We also see him as a pragmatist," Cowen told clients on Wednesday.

3. Earnings continue

Earnings season continues on Thursday with quarterly results from Domino's Pizza, Dropbox and Fitbit.

Analysts polled by FactSet are expecting Domino's to report earnings per share of $2.98, compared to the $2.62 earned in the same quarter a year prior. Sales are expected to come in at $1.125 billion, higher the the $1.082 billion reported a year ago.

ViacomCBS reports earnings before the bell in its first report as a merged media company. Norwegian Cruise Lines will also report earnings after the bell. Investors and analysts will be looking for management's comments on the Chinese coronavirus, which has weighed on the cruise line stocks. Shares of Norwegian Cruise Line are down more than 11% this year.

Major events (all times ET):

8:30 a.m. Initial claims

8:30 a.m. Philadelphia Fed survey

10:00 a.m. Leading index

1:20 p.m. Richmond Fed's Barkin speaks

Major earnings:

Domino's Pizza (before the bell)

Norwegian Cruise Line (before the bell)

Hormel Foods (before the bell)

Six Flags (before the bell)

ViacomCBS (before the bell)

Dropbox (after the bell)

Fitbit (after the bell)

Fastly (after the bell)

— with reporting from CNBC's Michael Bloom.