US shares steady ahead of key jobs data

NYSE traders Image copyright Getty Images

(Close): US stocks were little changed on Thursday ahead of crucial jobs data which are expected to give more insight into whether there will be an interest rate cut by the end of the year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged down 12.53 points at 18, 268.50.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 9.17 points lower to 5,306.85, while the S&P 500 gained 1.04 points at 2,160.77.

Social media website Twitter, plunged 20.10% on reports that Google and Apple were unlikely to bid for the company.

Fed action

Friday's employment report is expected to show whether the economy is strong enough to absorb an interest rate hike.

A growing number of US Federal Reserve officials have argued for higher rates as the labour market remains solid and inflation inches towards the central bank's 2% target.

"At the moment, what is driving the U.S. market is a repricing around expectations of near-term Fed action," said Bill Merz, investment strategist at US Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

Image copyright Getty Images

On Wednesday, shares in Twitter had closed 5.74% higher after a report in the Wall Street Journal said the website was expected to receive takeover bids this week.

Salesforce is now thought to be the most likely buyer of the business after its chief executive was implicated as a suitor earlier this week.

Chief executive Marc Benioff told CNBC on Wednesday that he would not "start a precedent by having to address specific deals".

He then added: "The reality is we have to look at everything, but we're going to pass on most things.".'s shares closed up 4.15% at $71.26.

Retailer Wal-Mart, saw its shares end the day down 3.22% after saying its profits would be flat next financial year.

More on this story