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NEW YORK, March 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday, with the Dow hitting its third straight record as jobless claims data pointed to a pick-up in the labor market's recovery a day before the closely watched payrolls report.
Based on the latest available data, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 33.25 points, or 0.23 percent, to end unofficially at 14,329.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 2.80 points, or 0.18 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,544.26. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 9.72 points, or 0.30 percent, to close unofficially at 3,232.09.