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Pre-Market Primer: Jobless Claims Still Tame; Chinese Import Demand Grows

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Tesla Motors managed to beat the skeptics again.

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Stocks are higher this morning as jobless claims rose by less than expected and Chinese demand for imports surged.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 5,000 last week to 333,000. Economists expected a bigger bump in claims to 336,000. The four-week moving average fell to a post-recovery low of 335,500.

Stocks are erasing the week's losses this morning. Just before the opening bell, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.41% to 15,505 while futures contracts on the S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) gained 0.39% to 1,694.70. Nasdaq (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) futures rose 0.45% to 3,130.00.

China reported today that its trade surplus fell by nearly $10 billion to $17.82 in July. On a yearly basis, imports grew 10.9% and exports rose 5.1% after falling 3.1% in June. Outbound electronics shipments rose 11.3%. These results far exceeded expectations.

The surge in Chinese imports and exports sent the Australian dollar up 0.78% to $0.9007 to the US dollar. The Aussie is very sensitive to the Chinese economy because Australia provides a lot of the raw material for Chinese factories.

Japanese stocks declined today after the Bank of Japan announced no change to its interest rate and quantitative easing policy. BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda did warn the government that it needs to act to increase the sales tax to decisively beat deflation.

T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) announced today that it added customers for the first quarter in over four years. Over the quarter, T-Mobile merged with MetroPCS and became a publicly traded US company. Deutsche Telekom (OTCMKTS:DTEGY) still owns a majority stake in the company. It also began selling Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhones directly in stores. Shares of the No. 4 wireless carrier are up 4%.

Tesla Motors (NASDAQ:TSLA) managed to speed past Wall Street's expectations again. The automaker lost $30.5 million or $0.26 per share, after losing a full dollar in the same period last year. Excluding special items, it earned a profit of $0.20 per share. Margin per vehicle increased, but the company didn't raise its estimate for full-year sales. Tesla shares rose 15% in after-market trading.

Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) shares rose nearly 25% after booking a better-than-expected second quarter. It earned $0.02 per share and revenue rose 7% to $608.7 million. Groupon will also buy back $300 million in stock. The company also announced that interim CEO Eric Lefkofsky will take over permanently.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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No positions in stocks mentioned.
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