Stocks closed mixed ahead of Friday’s much-anticipated December non-farm payrolls report as the Dow trimmed 2.72 points to finish at 12,415.70 while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 mustered small gains.

Economists expect a gain of 150,000 public and private sector jobs last month.

The consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that the number of planned layoffs at U.S. firms fell 1.6% last month, the lowest level since June. Also, private sector employment jobs increased 325,000, according to ADP, a gain much stronger than originally predicted.

And the Labor Department said claims for unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, smidge better than the 375,000 claims expected by most economists.

Meanwhile, the euro dropped below $1.28 against U.S. dollar, its lowest level since September 2010 and the latest sign to most investors that European banks are still struggling to raise capital amid the region's debt crisis.

Here are some more details from Thursday’s trading session:

Dow Jones Industrial Average:

  • First drop in three trading days.
  • An intraday high of 12435.98 occurred at 14:13:27 today, representing an increase of 17.56 points, or 0.14%.
  • An intraday low of 12283.90 occurred at 10:02:51 today, representing a decrease of 134.52 points, or 1.08%.
  • Twelve of the 30 component stocks rose, 18 fell.
  • Today's top five contributors to The Dow's movement and their point contribution: JPM (5.52), CAT (5.07), DIS (4.92), TRV (4.39), AXP (4.24).
  • Today's bottom five laggards: CVX (-8.17), IBM (-6.66), BA (-6.05), UTX (-5.45), MMM (-2.88).
  • Down 1748.83 points, or 12.35% from its record close of 14164.53 on October 9, 2007.
  • Up 6.14% from 52 weeks ago.
  • Up 89.64% from its 12-year closing low of 6547.05 on March 9, 2009.
  • Down 3.52% from its 52-week closing high of 12810.54 hit on April 29, 2011.
  • Up 16.00% from its 52-week closing low of 10655.30 hit on October 3, 2011.
  • DJIA crossed zero 38 times during today's trading session.

Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index:

  • Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index, 13258.18 (prelim)*, up 51.54 points, or 0.39%, or approximately $58.3 billion in market capitalization.
  • Up two of the last three trading sessions.
  • Highest close since October 28, 2011.
  • Down 2487.21 points, or 15.80% (approximately $3.8 trillion in market cap), from its record close of 15745.39 on October 9, 2007.
  • Up 94.97% (approximately $7.4 trillion in market cap), from the 12-½ year closing low of 6800.08 on March 9, 2009.
  • Down 0.27% over the past 52 weeks.
  • Down 7.34% from its 52 week close high of 14308.37 on April 29, 2011.
  • Up 17.34% from its 52 week close low of 11299.07 on October 3, 2011.

 

 

Data courtesy of Dow Jones Indexes.