NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- It was a relatively calm day on Wall Street as markets drifted higher earlier in the day and maintained those gains to the close of trading. Wall Street was pausing in wait-and-see mode ahead of Friday's unemployment report.
The S&P 500 was up 0.29% to 2,114, only points from its closing high of 2,117.69 reached on April 24. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.26%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.23%.
"The focus this week is really on Friday's jobs report. Expectations are for a snapback in the second quarter," Mark Luschini, chief investment officer at Janney Montgomery Scott, told CNBC.
Nonfarm payrolls for April will be released before the bell on Friday. Economists expect 225,000 jobs to have been added over the month, far better than 126,000 added in March.
Crude oil slipped after China's factory activity fell at a faster pace than expected, prompting fears of weakened demand for oil in the world's second-largest economy. The HSBC final Purchasing Managers' Index fell at its fastest pace in a year, down to 48.9 in April from 49.6 in March. West Texas Intermediate crude closed down 0.4% to $58.93 a barrel.
Oil-fracking companies including Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD), Concho Resources (CXO), and Whiting Petroleum (WLL) slid after activist investor David Einhorn, founder of Greenlight Capital, criticized the fracking industry.
"We object to oil fracking because the investment can contaminate returns," he said at the 20th annual Ira Sohn Investment Conference on Monday.