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U.S. stocks were poised to open slightly lower Thursday, after a weekly report on jobless claims that was a bit higher than expected.
U.S. stocks ended Wednesday with solid gains, after two upbeat reports on job growth. One report from outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas said private employers announced fewer planned job cuts in March - even as government layoffs mounted.
A second report, from payroll processor ADP, showed private sector employment rose by 201,000 in March. Investors view the ADP report as a guide for what's coming in Friday's employment report from the Labor Department.
Economy: The government's weekly jobless claims report showed a decline of 6,000 claims to 388,000 in the week ended March 26, which was slightly more than expected.
Economists had expected new claims to total 383,000 last week.
The Chicago-area purchasing managers' index for March is due at 13:45 GMT.
Companies: Warren Buffett's heir apparent, David Sokol, quit Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA, Fortune 500). In a press release Wednesday, Buffett said the resignation was a "total surprise," but he also revealed that Sokol had purchased shares of Lubrizol (LZ, Fortune 500) before pushing him to buy the company in March for $9.7 billion.
"I'd like to do what [Buffett] did in 1965: invest my own money," he said.
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