NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The markets closed higher Thursday on light volume in anticipation of the jobs report . The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 47.38, or 0.46%, to 10,444.14, while the S&P 500 added 4.18, or 0.37%, to 1,122.97. The Nasdaq rose 11.63, or 0.51%, to 2,292.31. Steve Liesman said on CNBC's "Fast Money" TV show on that Friday's jobs report could be a "mess," with estimates ranging from a loss of 150,000 to 250,000 jobs because of the snow storms. On the positive side, he said a "unknown" number of census workers will be hired. As a result, he said Friday's report won't add much clarity to the jobs situation. According to Liesman, the Fed is looking for four solid months of job growth before contemplating a move to raise interest rates.
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Tim Seymour said the markets have already factored in a weak jobs report and will rally on a strong report. Guy Adami singled out consumer names for their strong performance, noting in particular Gap ( GPS) for its good comparable sales numbers in the past few months and $1 billion stock repurchase plan. Pete Najarian said the retail stocks are doing well in face of poor unemployment numbers because retailers are more efficient in what they are doing and their margins are improving. He said he liked Williams Sonoma ( WSM) and Pier One ( PIR) because they are in the "sweet spot" of the home improvement area. Gary Kaminsky said retailers "for some reason" have outperformed when rates are going up. Joseph Lavorgna, a Deutsche Bank economist, said consumer spending started to pick up in the second half of last year and looked very healthy in January. He said consumers are moving back in after sitting on the sidelines for quite awhile. He said the lift in the stock markets from the March lows of last year is going to raise "consumer firepower." He said high-end retailers have done very well and expects the consumer spending at the high end will eventually trickle down. Najarian agreed that high-end retailers have done a good job of handling inventory but he also said companies are benefiting from a large short interest. He noted Buckle ( BKE), which is up close to 19% in six months, has a 35% short interest.