With traders digesting the latest batch of U.S. economic data, stocks may show a lack of direction in early trading on Thursday. The major index futures are currently pointing to slightly higher open for the markets, with the Dow futures up by just 12 points.
The futures had been pointing to a notably higher open earlier in the morning but have pared their gains following the release of the Labor Department's weekly jobless claims report, which showed a notable increase in claims in the week ended April 7th.
The report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 380,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 367,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 359,000 from the 357,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A separate report from the Labor Department showed that producer prices unexpectedly came in unchanged in March amid a drop in energy prices.
The Labor Department said its producer price index was flat in March following a 0.4 percent increase in February. Economists had been expecting the index to increase by 0.3 percent.
Excluding food and energy prices, the core producer price index rose by 0.3 percent in March after edging up by 0.2 percent in February. The core index had been expected to increase by 0.2 percent.
Meanwhile, the Commerce Department also released a report showing that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed significantly in the month of February.
by RTT Staff Writer
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