The S&P 500 snapped a four-day losing streak and the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose for the first day in three as gains in industrials and information technology stocks renewed a buying tone on the benchmark U.S. averages.
Almost all 11 sectors were in the green, with consumer staples down about 0.9% amid declines in beverage companies. General Electric's ( GE ) gain after announcing job cuts at its GE Power unit and advances in Boeing ( BA ) and Caterpillar ( CAT ) aided the Dow and lifted industrials up 0.9% as investors awaited Friday's non-farm payrolls report.
Analysts are expecting that the world's biggest economy created 190,000 jobs last month according to the consensus on Econoday, which would be down from 261,000 in October. Thursday's data showed an unexpected decline in initial jobless claims, although job cuts were up 17% month-on-month, a report from Challenger, Gray and Christmas showed.
While the recovery in tech shares continued, rising 0.7% on the S&P 500 and lifting the Nasdaq Composite up for a second consecutive day, investors were also watching events in Washington, D.C., as lawmakers try to reconcile different versions of their tax reform plans.
Concerns about a government shutdown were also lingering amid an impasse over spending legislation but the move out of safe havens was propelled by a report that European Council President Donald Tusk will make a statement on Brexit Friday.
Apart from the payrolls data, the economic calendar has preliminary December consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan and wholesale trade figures.
Here's where the markets stood by the close:
Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 70.57 points (+0.29%)
S&P 500 was up 7.71 points (+0.29%)
Nasdaq Composite Index was up 36.47 points (+0.54%)
FTSE 100 was down 0.37%
Nikkei 225 was up 1.45%
Hang Seng Index was up 0.28%
Shanghai China Composite Index was down 0.67%
(+) SAGE (+70.04%) Phase 2 trial of SAGE-217 met primary endpoint
(+) ENTL (+49.84%) To be acquired by Stryker ( SYK )
(+) DPW (+24.09%) Raised FY18 guidance by 50%, reports of US Air Force order
(+) SEAC (+23.57%) Q3 results beat Wall Street expectations
(+) SHAK (+7.87%) Morgan Stanley upgrades to equal weight from underweight
(+) SHLD (+6.76%) Shareholder calls on company to consider going private
(-) FCSC (-32.2%) Priced 13.6 million share public offering
(-) AGX (-23.22%) Downgraded to hold from buy at Lake Street
(-) NSA (-4.24%) Priced 5 million shares at 4.3% discount
(-) CTRP (-3.36%) JPMorgan downgrades to neutral from overweight
(-) RVNC (-2.67%) Priced 5.3 million shares at 8% discount to prior day's closing price