US STOCKS-Wall St inches up as choppy quarter draws to a close
* Jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week
* S&P 500 up 1 pct for year
* Indexes up: Dow 0.14 pct, S&P 0.12 pct, Nasdaq 0.29 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
March 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street inched up in quiet trading on Thursday, helped by energy stocks, as a tumultuous quarter draws to a close.
The first quarter was marked by a steep selloff in stocks at the start of the year that sent the S&P 500 down about 11 percent before a rebound in oil prices sparked a recovery.
Investors held off on making big bets ahead of the critical U.S. non-farm payrolls report due on Friday. Crude oil rose slightly, hovering near $40 a barrel.
Data on Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims rose unexpectedly last week, but remained well below the 300,000 mark denoting a healthy labor market.
Friday's report will give investors a clearer reading on the state of the economy. Continuación...