Stocks opened flat on Thursday as disappointing data on the labor market offset strong results from Dow component Caterpillar.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 3.63 points, or 0.03 percent, at 11,981.81. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 0.24 points, or 0.02 percent, at 1,296.39. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 6.26 points, or 0.23 percent, at 2,745.76.