U.S. stocks kicked off Thursday trade mostly flat after the Bank of England cut its key interest rate for the first time in seven years and expanded its quantitative-easing program. Investors in the U.S. are widely awaiting a key jobs report due Friday, which could help offer guidance on the health of the labor market. Before the opening, however, a report on weekly labor-market report showed that those submitting claims for unemployment rose to the highest level since the end of June, but jobless claims were still signaling healthy employment levels. The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 10 points, or less than 0.1%, at 18,363, the S&P 500 index was less than a point lower at 2,164 and the Nasdaq Composite Index was little-changed at 5,159.
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