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U.S. stock futures are showing minor gains early Thursday ahead of earnings reports from a host of majors like Exxon Mobil (XOM), Motorola (MOT) and Dow Chemical (DOW). In addition to the day’s round of earnings, economic data due out today includes weekly jobless claims, due out at 8:30 AM.

Dow Chemical (DOW), Potash (POT) and Tyco Electronics (TEL) already reported better-than-expected earnings this morning, which may be providing sentiment with a boost. Meanwhile, overseas Asian markets closed mixed Thursday while European bourses are sporting moderate advances.

U.S. equity futures are hugging the flatline as investors pause to prepare for Thursday’s round of earnings and view mixed markets overseas. In Hong Kong, shares edged higher as banks climbed after Bank of China Ltd. and Agricultural Bank of China both posted better-than-expected earnings. On the other hand, in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 slipped lower.

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