Stocks closed modestly higher in thin, choppy trading Thursday ahead of Friday's jobs report. The Nasdaq scored its gain in five sessions, rising 0.5%. Its gain was boosted by Apple (AAPL), which staged an upside reversal. The Dow Jones industrial average and S&P 500 rose 0.3% each. Volume dropped off on both major exchanges, according to unconfirmed data. Lululemon Athletica (LULU) ramped up 7% and regained its 50-day line in a wild session.