US STOCKS-Wall St closes up slightly ahead of jobs report
* Initial jobless claims climb more than expected
* Factory orders fall for sixth straight month
* AbbVie to buy Pharmacyclics for about $21 bln
* Indexes up: Dow 0.21 pct, S&P 0.12 pct, Nasdaq 0.32 pct (Updates to afternoon, adds commentary)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, March 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks closed modestly higher in light trading on Thursday as investors held back on big bets ahead of Friday's jobs report, which is expected to be a big factor in influencing the timing of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
Focus on the report was heightened as many investors see it as one of the most import economic indicators due to be released ahead of the Fed's meeting in mid-March.
"People are anticipating some fireworks tomorrow. That's the best way to describe the waiting today," said Paul Schatz, president and chief investment officer at Heritage Capital in Woodbridge, Connecticut.
The S&P and the Dow had hit records and the Nasdaq surpassed 5,000 at the start of the week after a strong February performance for U.S. stocks, giving additional reason for investors to take a breather on Thursday. Continuación...