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U.S. stocks were poised to extend declines from the previous session Thursday, as a weak report on unemployment claims and the Federal Reserve's gloomy comments about the economy weighed on investors.
Economy: A report on initial claims showed 429,000 Americans filed for their first week of unemployment benefits last week. That marked an increase of 9,000 new claims over the week before, and was far weaker than the 413,000 claims economists had expected.
Further attention is on May new home sales at 14:00 GMT.
Companies: Shares of Red Hat (RHT) added 5% before the market open, after the company reported better-than-expected first-quarter results and hiked its full-year forecast late Wednesday.
Pfizer (PFE, Fortune 500) and Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY, Fortune 500) released positive results. Shares of Pfizer rose 4% in premarket trading, while shares of Bristol Myers Squibb climbed 7%.
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