(CNBC) U.S. stocks traded mildly higher on Thursday, paring gains after an initial boost from details on quantitative easing in the euro zone, ahead of Friday's jobs report.
It's "basically a market just buying time ahead of tomorrow's employment data," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.
The S&P struggled to stay in positive territory, while the Dow and Nasdaq held modest gains. U.S. stocks have ended lower for each of the last two days, pulling back from Monday's records that sent the Nasdaq above 5,000 in the close for the first time since March 2000.
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