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U.S. stocks were set to edge higher Thursday, after the European Central Bank raised its key interest rates by a quarter point and initial claims for unemployment showed improvement.
The ECB's increase to 1.25% was in line with expectations. Separately, the Bank of England, in its meeting Thursday, made no change in its key rate.
"Us not raising rates doesn't mean rates won't rise," said Joe Clark, market analyst with Financial Enhancement Group.
Economy: The Labor Department reported the number of people filing for first time unemployment fell by 10,000 to 382,000 in the latest week. The reading was better than expected.
Companies:Pier 1 Imports (PIR) reported earnings of 48 cents per share, beating analyst estimates by a penny.
Another prominent home retailer, Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY, Fortune 500), said it earned $1.12 per share in its fiscal fourth quarter, far outdoing the 97-cent per share profit analysts had predicted. Shares rose 10.3% in pre-market trading.
Also Thursday, many large retail chains are scheduled to report their same-store sales for the latest month.
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