The video this transcript is based on appeared on January 9.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- 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.  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.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

Good morning - stocks are starting the trading session off on a positive note.  

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.  Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 last week to a seasonally-adjusted 330,000.

Shares of Macy's ( M) are climbing about 6% at last check after announcing plans to axe about 2,500 jobs and close some stores as part of a plan to cut costs by about $100 million a year.

And shares of Family Dollar ( FDO) are down about 8% at last check after reporting first-quarter earnings that came in slightly below expectations. The retailer also issued a disappointing 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.

In New York, I'm Brittany Umar for TheStreet.

Written by Brittany Umar in New York.

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