Stocks moved mostly higher on Thursday, though upward momentum was reserved ahead of the jobs report on Friday and next Tuesday's presidential election.
The S&P 500 was up 0.12%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.04%. The S&P 500 could narrowly snap a seven-day losing streak, its longest in five years.
Most investors were holding out for the most closely watched economic report, the monthly jobs report, that will be released on Friday. Economists anticipate 173,000 jobs to have been added to nonfarm payrolls in October, accelerating from 156,000 in September. The unemployment rate is expected to dip to 4.9% from 5%, while average hourly earnings are predicted to climb to 0.3% from 0.2%.
Uncertainty over next week's U.S. presidential election kept Wall Street on edge. Stocks have endured a volatile week after a number of polls showed Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gaining momentum in electoral college and popular-vote polls. A Times/CBS News poll Thursday morning shows Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton holding onto a three-point lead. The poll noted that most voters say their minds have been made up.
Services activity in the U.S. weakened in October, according to the latest non-manufacturing ISM index. The measure slipped to 54.8 last month from 57.1 in September, though remained in expansionary territory for its 81st straight month. Analysts expected the index to come in at 56. New orders and business activity both weakened.
Factory orders in the U.S. increased 0.3% in September, up from 0.2% in August. Orders have risen for three straight months. Analysts expected the measure to remain flat at 0.2% growth in September.