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Stocks Fluctuate Ahead of Key Jobs Report

U.S. stocks fluctuated on Thursday as investors awaited Friday’s eagerly-anticipated jobs report. So far, investors have received some data on the unemployment front, with data from the U.S. Labor Department showing that U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 228,000 for the week ending April 1.

While official jobs data is yet to be released, private payroll firm ADP provided some insight on what to expect, releasing its own report indicating the addition of 145,000 jobs in March. Significantly lower than consensus estimates of 210,000 and off the pace of the 261,000 jobs gained in February, this decline indicates a stark labor market slowdown.

The S&P 500 edged 0.2% higher during the morning session, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell marginally from the previous day. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was the day’s winner, advancing 0.5%.

“Volumes are expected to remain muted as we enter the holiday weekend,” JPMorgan’s U.S. market intelligence team stated in a note to investors, with stock and bond markets set to remain closed on April 7 for Good Friday.

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