Stocks closed nearly flat on Wall Street Thursday as investors remain cautiously optimistic about prospects for a new round of government aid while the economic recovery seemingly stalls. Wall Street continued to digest solid corporate earnings and updates on a decline of new virus cases. The latest government report on jobless claims, though, reaffirmed that employment remains a weak spot in the economy as vaccine distribution ramps up in the hopes of eventually ending the pandemic and its impact. Technology stocks led the gainers.

On Thursday:

The S&P 500 rose 6.50 points, or 0.2%, to 3,916.38.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 7.10 points, or less than 0.1%, to 31,430.70.

The Nasdaq rose 53.24 points, or 0.4%, to 14,025.77.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies rose 2.88 points, or 0.1%, to 2,285.32.

For the week:

The S&P 500 is up 29.55 points, or 0.8%.

The Dow is up 282.46 points, or 0.9%.

The Nasdaq is up 169.48 points, or 1.2%.

The Russell 2000 is up 51.99 points, or 2.3%.

For the year:

The S&P 500 is up 160.31 points, or 4.3%.

The Dow is up 824.22 points, or 2.7%.

The Nasdaq is up 1,137.49 points, or 8.8%.

The Russell 2000 is up 310.46 points, or 15.7%.