U.S. stocks closed higher on Thursday, breaking two days of losses amid details of quantitative easing in the euro zone and anticipation of Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report.
It’s “basically a market just buying time ahead of tomorrow’s employment data,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. He expects the addition of 228,000 jobs and the unemployment rate unchanged at 5.7 percent.
February U.S. jobs report is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m., before the bell on Friday. Analysts expect about 240,000 nonfarm payrolls, below last month’s 257,000. Hourly earnings and unemployment will be key indicators for investors seeking insight on the Fed’s timing of an interest rate hike.