[NEW YORK] US stocks opened slightly higher Thursday, sticking to a cautious holding pattern ahead of the US July jobs report that could tip the Federal Reserve's hand on interest rates.
Unemployment insurance claims remained low and pointed to continued firmness in the jobs market, and could presage a solid report on jobs creation last month on Friday.
A strong July report could endorse the view of solid US economic growth and push the Fed to raise interest rates as soon as the end of this month.
Five minutes into trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1 per cent at 18,417.45.
The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.1 per cent to 2,173.28, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite added 0.3 per cent at 5,226.94.