Same-store sales, jobless claims on tap

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Same-store sales and weekly jobless claims are the main events on today's calendar.

Companies including Gap and Costco will report their numbers for March throughout the morning, which could affect trading in the retail industry.

At 8:30 a.m. ET, the Labor Department will announce jobless claims. Economists expect a reading of 365,000, down from 385,000 the previous week. Lower numbers would be considered bullish because it would indicate that fewer Americans lost their jobs.

Changes in natural-gas inventories will be announced at 10:30 a.m. ET, which could affect sentiment in the energy sector.

Focus will return to retail and the consumer tomorrow, when the Commerce Department issues its monthly numbers and the University of Michigan publishes its sentiment index.

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