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Stock Futures Slip as Jobless Claims Rise; Wal-Mart Gains

Gold futures for April delivery were dropping $4.80 to $1,573.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while futures for April crude oil contracts were looking lower by $1.50 cents to $93.72 a barrel.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was increasing 10/32, diluting the yield to 1.978%. The dollar was up 0.31%, according to the U.S. dollar index.

In corporate news, Wal-Mart Stores (DELL) announced quarterly earnings from continuing operations of $1.67 a share on revenue of $127.1 billion. Analysts expected profit of $1.57 a share on revenue of $128.85 billion. Shares of the world's largest retailer were tacking on 1.3% in premarket trading.

Tesla Motors (TSLA) reported a fourth-quarter adjusted loss of 65 cents a share on $306 million in revenue. Consensus among analysts expected a fourth-quarter loss of 53 cents a share on $298.9 million in revenue. Shares of the electric-car maker were tumbling 5.8% in the early session on Thursday.

Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is predicted by analysts to post earnings of 71 cents a share on revenue of $27.79 billion during its fiscal first quarter. Shares were down incrementally in premarket trades.

Boeing (BA) was expected to detail on Friday its plan to return the grounded Dreamliner jet to service, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Shares were little changed early Thursday.

Chesapeake Energy (CHK) was anticipated to post fourth-quarter earnings of 14 cents a share for its fourth quarter. The second-largest U.S. producer of natural gas earned 58 cents a share a year ago. Shares were increasing 1.3% in premarket action.

The New York Times (DISH) said Wednesday that it was putting the Boston Globe up for sale a second time.

Safeway (SWY) was slated to report fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. Analysts were looking for the grocery store chain to post a profit of 76 cents a share on revenue of $13.7 billion. Shares dropped 1.6% on Wednesday.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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