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U.S. jobless claims drop sharply to near 15-year low

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits tumbled last week to its lowest level in nearly 15 years, adding to bullish signals on the labor market.

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Ford profit beats estimates, but European outlook worsens

DETROIT - Ford Motor Co on Thursday said it would keep relying on North America for its profit this year as the No. 2 U.S. automaker signaled that losses in Europe would be more than previously forecast.

8:23am EST

Malaysia declares MH370 an 'accident', airline to proceed with compensation

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia declared on Thursday the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for the airline to pay compensation to victims' relatives while the search for the plane goes on.

Obama budget to propose spending lift for military, domestic programs

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama's budget will call for an increase in domestic and military spending that would end spending caps known as "sequestration," a White House official said, setting up a new source of conflict with Republicans in Congress.

6:03am EST

Brent oil holds above $48 after U.S. stocks hit record high

LONDON - Brent oil futures held above $48 a barrel on Thursday as speculator buying on hopes for a price rebound offset data showing record-high U.S. crude stocks.

7:53am EST

Lawmakers seek to end restrictions on travel to Cuba

WASHINGTON - Eight Republican and Democratic senators will introduce legislation on Thursday to end restrictions on U.S. citizens' travel to Cuba, the first effort in Congress toward ending the U.S. embargo since President Barack Obama moved to normalize relations last month.

Politics, Cuba 8:45am EST