New York: Wall Street stocks finished slightly higher Thursday following mostly solid US economic data ahead of the eagerly anticipated February jobs report.
At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 16,943.35, up 44.03 points (0.26 percent).
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 6.94 (0.35 percent) to 1,993.39, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added 4.00 (0.09 percent) at 4,707.42.
US data releases showed modestly slower services sector activity in February and a modest increase in industrial orders in January.
Initial jobless claims rose slightly last week, but remained at a low level.
"The market has been on hold most of the day, awaiting tomorrow`s unemployment data," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial.
Friday`s jobs report is expected to show the US economy added 190,000 jobs in February and the unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.