Stocks are edging higher after reports on housing, manufacturing and jobs indicated the economy continues to grow, albeit slowly.
The Labor Department says first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week, but remain well above levels that indicate a healthy economy. The number of buyers who signed contracts to purchase homes also rose.
But traders are slow to react to the modestly positive news Thursday. Instead they are waiting for Friday's key monthly report on employment to see if private employers are ramping up hiring.
The Dow Jones industrial average is up 1, or less than 0.1 percent, at 10,270. The S&P 500 is up 4, or 0.4 percent, at 1,084, while the Nasdaq composite is up 13, or 0.6 percent, at 2,189.