NEW YORK: Wall Street stocks rose early Thursday as markets seek to shrug off lackluster trading this week ahead of key jobs data.

After a strong November, US stocks have been on the defensive most of the week in what analysts regard as a “consolidation” trade to absorb earlier gains.

“There isn’t a lot of conviction on the part of buyers and there isn’t a lot of conviction on the part of sellers,” said Briefing.con analyst Patrick O’Hare. “Accordingly, the market is churning, waiting it seems for a new catalyst to give it some new direction for either a breakout or a breakdown.”

US stocks higher as private-sector hiring cools

About 10 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up less than 0.1 percent at 36,063.68.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.5 percent to 4,572.41, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.9 percent to 14,274.34.

Investors are looking ahead to Friday’s government jobs report. Analysts expect the US economy added 175,000 positions in November and that unemployment held steady at 3.9 percent.

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