U.S. stocks started Thursday's session higher despite an unexpected rise in jobless claims. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits rose in the latest week. The increase is more than forecasts but still near pre-recession levels. The Labor Department also reported continuing claims for people already receiving benefits rose for the week that ended on August 2nd. Import prices declined for the first time in three months. Excluding fuel, the prices paid for goods imported into the U.S. were unchanged in July. In corporate news, Amgen (AMGN) said its drug failed to improve survival rates in a trial of patients suffering from advanced multiple myeloma. Kohl's (KSS) reported earnings before the bell this morning beating estimates, but sales fell more than expected. Walmart (WMT) also reported quarterly result Thursday morning, matching profit estimates while surpassing top line projections. TheStreet's Susannah Lee has details from New York.