European, U.S. news on the calendar

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Today's economic calendar focuses on European monetary policy, same-store sales, and initial jobless claims.

The European Central Bank will announce its interest-rate decision at 7:45 a.m. ET, which could affect sentiment early in the session. No change is expected.

The Labor Department will release weekly jobless claims at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists forecast that 348,000 Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, down from 354,000 in the previous period. Lower readings would be considered positive because it would mean that fewer people have lost their jobs.

Retailers will report same-store sales individually throughout the morning, which could affect trading in that industry.

Attention on Friday focuses on the pivotal non-farm payrolls report.

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