Jobless claims, earnings lead docket

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Weekly jobless claims are the main economic event today, while the corporate-earnings calendar remains active.

The Labor Department is expected to report that 355,000 Americans filed for initial unemployment benefits last week, up from 346,000 the previous week. Lower readings would be considered bullish because it would mean that fewer people lost their jobs. The release is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET.

The pre-market session will also feature reports from investment bank Morgan Stanley, soft-drink maker PepsiCo, telecom Verizon Communications, and HMO giant United Health Care.

The Philadelphia Federal Reserve will announce its regional economic index at 10 a.m. ET. Economists forecast a reading of 2.5, up from 2 in March. Natural-gas inventories follow at 10:30 a.m. ET, which could affect energy stocks.

There is also a busy roster of corporate results after the closing bell, with companies including Microsoft, Google, IBM, and Capital One scheduled to announce.

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