Category: Markets / Finance / March 7, 2013 2:52 PM EST
U.S. stocks edged up in early trade on Thursday, after jobless claims data suggested a pick-up in the labor market recovery.
The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 340,000, and it was the second straight week of declines.
The Dow hit an intraday record for now the third session in a row, climbing as high as 14,345, after the Dow surged to a record on Tuesday.
On the international front, The ECB held its benchmark rate at a record low and the Bank of England stuck with its target for quantitative easing, while the Bank of Japan dismissed calls that it begin asset purchases.
Investors are looking ahead towards Friday's unemployment rate as analysts expect no key changes on February’s nonfarm payrolls and unemployment. Economists are predicting that the Labor Department will report a gain of 160,000 non-farm payroll figures, and that the unemployment rate will stay at 7.9 percent.