Futures Pare Gains After Economic Reports

U.S. stock index futures edged off their best levels Thursday following a handful of weaker-than-expected economic news.

Weekly jobless claims increased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 380,000, according to the Labor Department. Economists had forecast claims falling to 355,000, according to a Reuters poll. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, rose 4,250 to 368,500.

Producer prices was unchanged in March as a drop in gasoline costs offset rising food prices, according to the Labor Department. Economists surveyed by Reuters had expected a gain of 0.3 percent.

Meanwhile, trade deficit narrowed unexpectedly by 12.4 percent to $46.0 billion in February, according to the Commerce Department. And exports gained to a record $181.2 billion.

Stock snapped their 5-day losing streak in the previous session, lifted by Alcoa’s better-than-expected earnings report.

In company news, AT&T rose more than 1 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the telecom giant to "overweight" from "neutral," with a $33 price target.

Google is scheduled to post earnings after the bell.

Avid Technology, which makes audio and video products, disappointed traders with a forecast for first-quarter operating loss and a revenue drop that was well short of Wall Street estimates.

Drug wholesaler McKesson won a contract to supply drugs to Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, sending is shares up more than 4 percent.

European stocks declined after an auction of 3-year Italian bonds showed yields jumping to the highest level since mid-January, renewing concerns about peripheral European countries’ ability to combat spiraling public debt.

The U.S. Treasury is set to auction $13 billion of re-opened 30-year bonds. Prices on Treasurys edged lower in early trade, with the benchmark 10-year note yielding 2.04 percent.

Markets will also eye the Energy Information Administration’s weekly natural gas report with interest, after natural gas futures fall below $2 on Wednesday for the first time since January 2002.

—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC

Coming Up This Week:

THURSDAY: Philadelphia Fed pres speaks, 30-yr bond auction, Minneapolis Fed pres speaks; Earnings from Google
FRIDAY: CPI, consumer sentiment, Bernanke speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan, Wells Fargo

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