8:00am (EST)

The bulls rebounded on Thursday just enough to keep hope alive as Wall Street looks ahead to this morning’s Nonfarm Payroll report.  The indexes closed right at the targets we gave yesterday morning with some of them coming within a few hundredths of a point.

The Dow gained double-nickels, or 0.4%, to close at 14,606.  The blue-chips traded up to 14,625 and we said the bulls needed to clear 14,600 to keep the rally intact.  The low checked in at 14,538 but it was only a 12 point drop as the index easily held 14,500.

The S&P 500 added 6 points, or 0.4%, to end at 1,559.98.  We said the bulls needed to clear 1,560 on the close.  The index traded up to 1,562 on the open but was down a point shortly after lunch before rebounding to make another push higher.  The bulls are still looking to get a finish above 1,575 by the weekend while the bears are pushing anything below 1,550.

The Nasdaq also popped a 6-pack, or 0.2%, to settle at 3,224.98.  The high for the session came at 3,226 and the bulls were looking to clear and hold 3,225 ahead of today’s big news.  There is a decent chance Tech closes above 3,250 or near 3,200 today depending on the numbers.

The Russell 2000 chipped-in with a 7 point win, closing at 925 and reclaiming 920 in the process.  Meanwhile, the S&P Volatility Index ($VIX, 13.89, down $0.32) traded up to 14.79 but stayed below 15.

Futures are showing a nasty open ahead of this morning’s jobless report and look like this:  Dow (-77); S&P 500 (-8); Nasdaq (-17).