Stocks begin the trading session on a positive note on Thursday. In top headlines, the Labor Department said on Tuesday that jobless claims fell more than expected last week, demonstrating further improvement in the U.S. economy. Shares of Macy's are climbing after announcing plans to axe about 2,500 jobs and close some stores as part of a cost-cutting plan, while shares of Family Dollar are falling after reporting disappointing first-quarter earnings and a weak outlook. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank left its key interest rate unchanged at a record low of 0.25% -- this, despite concerns about the risk of low inflation to Europe's weak recovery.
Stock quotes in this video: