The Labor Department said 11,000 fewer initial claims were filed, putting the week's total at 445,000.
In Europe, both the European Central Bank and the Bank of England said they would leave bank-to-bank lending rates intact, at 1 percent and 0.5 percent, respectively.
On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 19.07 points, or 0.17 percent, to 10,948.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 1.91, or 0.16 percent, to 1,158.06. The Nasdaq composite index added 3.01, or 0.13 percent, to 2,383.67.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,357 stocks advanced and 1,596 declined on a volume of 4.9 billion shares traded.
The benchmark 10-year Treasury note rose 2/32 to yield 2.387 percent.
The euro rose to $1.3926 from Wednesday's $1.3936. Against the yen, the dollar fell to 82.35 yen from Wednesday's 82.91 yen.
The Nikkei 225 index in Japan was also flat, dropping 6.62 points, 0.07 percent, to
The FTSE 100 index in Britain lost 0.34 percent, 19.26, to 5,662.13.
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