Stocks End Mixed Ahead of Jobs Report

Traders anticipate another dismal showing for the labor market in Friday's report

U.S. stocks closed mixed Thursday, with the Dow industrials lagging broader-market indexes ahead of Friday's December U.S. nonfarm payrolls data. Trading was light but volatile ahead of the data, with the consensus forecast calling for a 490,000 decline in December after a 533,000 drop in November and a rise in the jobless rate to 6.9%.

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