US stocks pushed up in early action Thursday as traders took a cautious stance with markets to be closed on Friday for the Easter weekend.
About 30 minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 111.87 points (0.63 percent) at 17,810.05.
The broad-based S&P 500 gained 12.26 (0.60 percent) at 2,071.95, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite rose 20.33 (0.42 percent) to 4,900.56.
In positive numbers for the economy, jobless claims fell to a low 268,000 last week, suggesting more tightening in the labor market.
The US trade deficit meanwhile shrank to a more than five-year low, which analysts said should give a boost to first-quarter economic growth.
But it was not clear how that would translate into the Labor Department’s March jobs report to be released on Friday, and traders will not have much chance to react to that until the beginning of next week due to the market holiday on Friday.
The jobs report is expected to show the economy added a 250,000 net new positions last month, lower than February’s 288,000 but still strong.
Used car dealer CarMax topped gainers among large companies, its shares jumping 8.0 percent on a 44 percent surge in profits in its fourth quarter.
Chipmaker Micron Technology added 0.6 percent despite beating earnings per share forecasts for its fiscal second quarter by 13 percent.
Among other major companies, beer giant AB Inbev added 1.4 percent, while Google lost 1.3 percent as it faced a growing spat with Beijing over a Chinese security breach.
Bond prices sagged. The yield on the 10-year US Treasury rose to 1.88 percent from 1.86 percent Wednesday, while the 30-year rose to 2.50 percent from 2.46 percent. Bond prices and yields move inversely.