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U.S. stocks were set to open little changed Wednesday, as investors worried about the impending debt ceiling deadline, and lawmakers showed little evidence they are moving closer to a deal.
On Thursday, the House will vote on the debt ceiling plan favored by Republicans. Even if the measure passes, it is expected to die in the Senate, and President Obama has threatened to veto it.
Economy: The Labor Department reported 398,000 Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week (the first time claims have dropped below 400,000 in more than three months). Economists had expected 415,000 claims.
Investors are also looking ahead to Friday's monthly GDP report. The government will report how much the economy expanded in the second quarter.
A survey of economists forecasts the economy grew only at a 1.8% annual rate in the second quarter, which would be a slight slowdown from the first quarter, when it grew 1.9%.
Companies: Oil producer Exxon Mobil (XOM, Fortune 500) reported earnings per share of $2.18, missing analyst estimates of $2.33 per share. Revenues came in at $125.4 billion, up from $92.5 billion over the same period last year. Shares dropped more than 1% in premarket trading.
Investors will also get results from MetLife (MET, Fortune 500) and Starbucks (SBUX, Fortune 500) after Thursday's closing bell.
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