U.S. Stocks Open Slightly Higher After Mixed Economic Data

By Markets MarketWatch Pulse

U.S. stocks on Thursday opened slightly higher after a pair of economic reports showed continued strength in the labor market but falling domestic productivity. The flurry of data came ahead of the closely watched nonfarm-payrolls report due Friday, which could help determine the path of monetary policy after Federal Reserve members have hinted that the time to hike rates is nearing. Meanwhile, fresh declines in oil prices continued to weigh on the main equity benchmarks. The S&P 500 added less than a point, or less than 0.1%, to 2,172. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 9 points, or less than 0.1%, to 18,409. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 8 points, or 0.2%, to 5,221.

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