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NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks generally climbed early Thursday as the market tried to shrug off two straight losing sessions on worries about Covid-19 and shifting monetary policy.

But the Nasdaq faltered and analysts cautioned that the early gains were on shaky ground, noting Tuesday's rout was followed by an early rally Wednesday that fizzled after US health authorities reported the first case of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 in the country.

"The market is struggling to know what to do about the Omicron variant at this point," said Gregori Volokhine of Meeschaert Financial Services.

About an hour into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 34,330.20, up 0.9 percent.

The broad-based S&P 500 advanced 0.5 percent to 4,534.39, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.4 percent to 15,197.52.

US labor data showed an uptick in weekly jobless claims, although the overall figure remains below the pre-pandemic level. The report comes ahead of Friday's closely-watched monthly jobs report.

Among individual companies, Boeing jumped 3.3 percent after Chinese officials cleared the plane maker's 737 MAX to resume service after a lengthy grounding following two fatal crashes.

Apple fell 2.5 percent after Bloomberg reported that the company may limit production of its newest iPhone due to slowing demand.

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