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Morning Reading: No Holiday From Economic Data

(Updated with Jobless Claims data, GDP)

What to watch, courtesy of Yahoo! Finance's Elizabeth Trotta:

Good morning!

U.S. futures are following European markets higher, rebounding from Wednesday's pullback as investor sort through a smattering of economic data. First up were jobless claims and the third revision to third quarter GDP: Jobless claims fell by to 364K last week, down slightly from the week before and about 16K better than expected. Third quarter GDP was revised downward, to reflect expansion at a 1.8% annualized rate, vs. prior estimates of 2% growth. Consumer sentiment, leading indicators and the FHFA housing price index will follow.

The shopping days before the Christmas holiday are dwindling in number, but the estimates and speculation around holiday sales keep coming. In some of the recent headlines: FedEx and UPS package volume has topped 2010, but just as people continue to buy things (and ship them) they are apparently also taking them back. Shoppers will return a record $46.28 billion in holiday merchandise this year, according to the National Retail Federation.

Economic data to watch:

8:30 jobless claims

8:30 GDP third estimate

9:55 University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment

10 Leading Indicators

10 FHFA Housing price index

For more on the markets:

A few more headlines to note today: