The release of U.S. jobless claims and comments from Fed's Yellen (non-voter) will top the North American data releases. Markets will also be paying attention to comments from European Central Bank President Trichet in the afternoon.

At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the U.S. Department of Labor will release initial and continuing jobless claims for the week ending July 5 and June 28 respectively. The consensus is looking for initial jobless claims to total 395k compared to the previous week's 404k level. Continuing claims are expected to rise to 3140k from 3116k previously.

At 10 a.m. EDT, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify alongside U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson at a hearing on financial market regulatory restructuring at the House Committee on Financial Services in Washington, DC.

At 10:35 a.m. EDT, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release natural gas storage for the week ending July 4. Economists expect a build of 92 Bcf following the previous week's gain of 85 Bcf.

At 11:15 a.m. EDT, U.S. Under Secretary for International Affairs David H. McCormick will deliver a briefing on the clean technology fund at the New York Foreign Press Center.

At 1 p.m. EDT, the U.S. Treasury will sell $8 billion in 10-year TIPS.

At 1:45 p.m. EDT, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet will speak at a celebration of the euro's 10th anniversary in Munich.

At 3:30 p.m. EDT, San Francisco Fed President Janet Yellen (non-voter) will speak at a luncheon of community leaders in Portland, Oregon. An audience Q&A will follow.

At 4:30 p.m. EDT, markets will receive U.S. M1 and M2 money supply figures for the week ending June 30.

At 7 p.m. EDT, Alan Holmer, the U.S. Treasury's special envoy for China, will discuss Sino-American relations at an event in Minneapolis.

At some point on Thursday, ICSC will release U.S. chain store sales for June which are expected to rise an annual 3.3% after picking up 3.0% in May.

8:30 US Initial Jobless Claims W/E 5-July Exp: +395K Prior: +404K

8:30 US Continuing Claims W/E 28-June Exp: +3140K Prior: +3116K

10:00 US Bernanke, Paulson Testify on Markets Before House Committee

10:35 US EIA Natural Gas Storage Change W/E 4-July Exp: +95 Bcf Prior: +85 Bcf

11:15 US Tsy's Secretary McCormick will speak at the Clean Technology Fund Briefing

13:00 US Tsy to Sell US$8 Billion in 10-Year TIPS

13:45 EU ECB's Trichet Speaks at Event in Munich

15:30 US Fed's Yellen Speaks in Portland at Community Luncheon

16:30 US U.S. Treasury will release M1 and M2 data

19:00 US Treasury's Holmer Speaks in Minneapolis on U.S.-China Ties

US ICSC Chain Store Sales (Y/Y) June Exp:+3.3% Prior: +3.0%

By Erik Kevin Franco and edited by Cristina Markham