For a third day in a row, US stocks managed to close higher on 3 March, despite slight losses in US crude oil futures. The major averages ended up, with the energy sector contributing the most to gains.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 44.58 points, or 0.26%, settling at 16,943.90. According to MarketWatch, the Dow's gains were led by a 3.4% rally in shares of Caterpillar Inc. The Dow, along with the S&P 500, were within 10% of their 52-week highs.
The S&P 500 gained 6.95 points, or 0.35%, closing at 1,993.40. Eight of the S&P 500's 10 sectors ended in positive territory, with the energy sector contributing to gains as it rose 1.3%. The health-care stocks weighed, dropping 0.4%, according to MarketWatch.
The Nasdaq Composite ended 4 points higher, or 0.09%, to settle at 4,707.42. The Nasdaq closed 10.03% below its 52-week intraday high and was on the edge of breaking out of correction territory. Several major tech companies—including Google (-0.89%) and Amazon (-0.47%) — weighed, while Apple managed modest gains, closing up 0.74%.
The 4 March US jobs data will be monitored by investors for indications of the path the Fed will take. "I think it's a lot of waiting for tomorrow. A lot of the data we had today wasn't exactly major market-moving (news)," Bill Stone, chief investment strategist at PNC Asset Management, told CNBC. "The fears of a US recession have really declined and obviously the payrolls is the biggest thing for people," he added. "It still seems like the market in a lot of cases is still hostage to oil."
US crude oil futures closed down 9 cents, or 0.26%, at $34.57 a barrel. Treasury yields also traded lower, with the 2-year yield near 0.83% and the 10-year yield around 1.83%. Gold futures surged to their highest level in over a year, settling up $16.40 at $1,258.20 an ounce. Meanwhile the US dollar was over a half a percent lower against world currencies, with the euro was at $1.096 and the yen at 113.60 yen against the greenback.