Investing.com - U.S. stocks finished Thursday's session in positive territory after a volatile day of trading marked by uncertainty ahead of Friday's release of the May jobs report.
Soft weekly jobless claims data sparked concerns that the Federal Reserve will keep stimulus programs in place, which allowed stocks to rise.
Monetary stimulus tools such as the Fed's USD85 billion monthly bond-buying program flood the economy with liquidity to spur recovery and keep borrowing costs low, a combination that sends stock prices rising as a side effect.
At the close of U.S. trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 0.53%, the S&P 500 index ended up 0.85%, while the Nasdaq Composite index rose 0.66%.
In the U.S. earlier, the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial unemployment assistance last week fell by 11,000 to 346,000 compared to expectations for a decline of 12,000 to 345,000.
Jobless claims for the preceding week were revised up to 357,000 from a previously reported increase of 354,000.
The data clouded market expectations as to when the Federal Reserve will begin to scale back stimulus measures, which sent stocks falling earlier.
Weeks of stronger-than-expected economic indicators have sent the stocks falling on sentiments the Fed will let the U.S. economy stand on its own two feet, while disappointing figures have had the opposite effect and let stocks rise on sentiments the Fed will continue to support the economy and markets.
Adding to Thursday's volatility, the yen surged against the dollar earlier amid sentiments the Japanese currency may be oversold and that the market has already priced in loose monetary policies into trading strategies.
Leading Dow Jones Industrial Average performers included Verizon Communications, up 3.46%, Home Depot, up 2.89%, and Pfizer, up 2.29%.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average's worst performers included Chevron, down 0.81%, Travelers Companies, down 0.61%, and Caterpillar, down 0.50%.
European indices, meanwhile, finished lower.
After the close of European trade, the EURO STOXX 50 fell 1.22%, France's CAC 40 fell 0.99%, while Germany's DAX 30 finished down 1.19%. Meanwhile, in the U.K. the FTSE 100 finished down 1.30%.
On Friday, investors will trade on May's nonfarm payroll numbers and the headline unemployment rate.
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