Category: Markets / Finance / March 7, 2013 5:23 PM EST
Wall Street closed higher on Thursday, with the Dow ending at a record for a third straight day as jobless claims pointed to a pick-up in the labor market's recovery a day before the closely watched payrolls report.
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.
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.