US stocks little changed ahead of Friday jobs report

US stocks Thursday opened little changed as investors digested a series of economic data ahead of Friday's big jobs report for March.

Five minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 22.29 points (0.13 percent) to 16,595.29.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 1.60 (0.08 percent) to 1,892.50, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index slipped 1.00 (0.02 percent) to 4,275.45.

Commerce Department data showed the US trade deficit for February jumped to $42.3 billion from $39.3 billion in January. Meanwhile, US jobless claims last week increased 16,000 to 326,000.

But markets were beginning to focus on Friday's jobs report, which is expected to show the US added 195,000 jobs last month.

"There is nothing at this time to suggest other than a reasonably quiet trading day," said "But you never know."