U.S. stocks opened with slight gains on Thursday, with investors finding few reasons to push shares sharply higher following a strong month in November. Last month was the best month for the Dow since March, and the best for the Russell 2000 since October 2011. While investors view the market's uptrend as intact, traders may hold off on making big bets going into the closely watched jobs report on Friday, though continued gains in oil prices could help to support stocks for a second straight session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 38.22 points, or 0.2%, to 19,174, while the S&P 500 added 2.1 points to 2,202, a rise of 0.1%. Energy shares were among the biggest gainers of both indexes, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF rising 1.2% on the day. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose less than 1 point to 5,323, essentially unchanged on the day.
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