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Futures Hold Losses After Job News, PPI

Stock index futures held losses after a surprising jump in jobless claims, and slightly stronger gain in core producer prices.

Jobless claims gained 27,000 to 412,000in the week ended April 9, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Continuing claims for week ended April 2 dropped to 3.68 million from 3.74 million the week before, the lowest level since September 2008.

The Producer Price Index, meanwhile, rose 0.7 percent in March from a 1.6 percent gain in February, the Labor Department said. Core PPI rose 0.3 percent in March after a 0.2 percent gain in February. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected a 0.2 percent rise.

Futures were lower before the economic releases as investors waited to see how markets would react to President Obama’s plan to reduce the U.S. budget deficit.

The President outlined his vision for reducing the deficit Wednesday by a total of $4 trillion over the next 12 years by finding savings in the defense budget, healthcare spending, domestic expenditure, and reform of the federal tax system.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Senate report on Wall Street's role in the financial crisis published Wednesday accused Goldman Sachs of misleading clients and manipulating markets, while also condemning greed, weak regulation and conflicts of interest throughout the financial system.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has also launched an investigation into whether a number of banks including Bank of AmericaUBS and Citigroup colluded to manipulate Libor rates according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Toys R Us is also in focus following a Reuters report the toy retailer is targeting an initial public offering in July.

Investors will focus on comments from Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke, Minneapolis Fed President Naryana Kocherlakota, Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser, Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo, and Richmond Fed President Jeffrey Lacker.

Elsewhere, commodities giant Glencore announced plans to raise up to $12.1 billion in a London and Hong Kong offering that was predicted to boost dealmaking capacity at the height of a resources boom.

The announcement failed lift European markets, all of which were trading lower in the mid-morning session.

On Tap This Week:

THURSDAY: 30-year Treasury bond auction, Kocherlakota speaks, Plosser speaks, Lacker speaks, Nestle shareholder meeting; earnings from Google after-the-bell.
FRIDAY: CPI, Empire state manufacturing survey, Treasury international capital, industrial production, consumer sentiment, credit card default rates reported; Evans speaks, Hoenig speaks, G24/International Monetary Affairs meeting; Earnings from Bank of America and Mattel before-the-bell.

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