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U.S. stocks were set to open lower Thursday, as concerns about Greece's debt overshadowed stronger-than-expected reports on the housing market and unemployment.
Economy: Before the market opened the government reported that jobless claims slipped to 414,000 last week, down 16,000 from the prior week. Economists had expected a more modest decline in weekly claims of 421,000.
Housing starts jumped 3.5% in May to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 560,000 versus the forecast of 540,000.
Building permits rose 8.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 612,000 in May, from the prior month's rate of 563,000. Economists had expected permits to edge lower to a 548,000 annual rate.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia will release its June manufacturing survey at 14:00 GMT.
Companies: Energy Transfer Equity L.P. (ETE, Fortune 500) will buy Southern Union Co. (SUG) for $7.9 billion. The news sent shares of Southern Union nearly 17% higher in premarket trading.
Shares of Finisar (FNSR) slumped nearly 18% early Thursday, after forecasting first-quarter earnings to be significantly lower than estimated.
BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIMM) will report earnings after the closing bell, which are forecast to come in at $1.32 a share.
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