Stocks Climb as Rate Worries Ease

Markets were assessing reports on productivity, manufacturing, retail sales, auto sales and home sales, ahead of Friday's key payrolls report

Stocks finished broadly higher Thursday, as investors cheered a lower wage inflation figure amid a flurry of economic data. Bargain-hunting likely helped boost stocks after the recent dowtrend, particularly as mutual funds often see fresh inflows at the start of a month, says Standard & Poor's Equity Research.

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