US STOCKS-ECB move boosts Wall Street, focus shifts to payrolls

Reuters - UK Focus

* ECB cuts rates below zero to spur bank lending

* Rite Aid (Berlin: RTA.BE - news) shares slide after outlook

* Sprint (Frankfurt: 2S7.F - news) agrees to pay about $32 bln for T-Mobile US -source

* Indexes up: Dow 0.5 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct (Updates prices, changes comment, adds David Tepper)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK (Frankfurt: HX6.F - news) , June 5 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 rose to hit anintraday record high for the seventh time in eight sessions onThursday after the European Central Bank cut rates to recordlows and outlined further accommodative monetary policy actions.

Also helping stocks: hedge fund manager David Tepper wasreported by CNBC as saying the ECB move partly "alleviated" hisconcerns about the market, after having said last month he wasworried stock prices were stretched.

The ECB cut the deposit rate to -0.10 percent and will movefurther to persuade banks to lend. ECB head Mario Draghi saidthe bank's governing council will intensify preparations relatedto outright purchases of asset-backed securities.

"A lot of people were short, expecting a pullback cominginto the ECB decision," said Michael James, managing director ofequity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. "I thinkpeople were positioned for things to be underwhelming.

"Things will remain volatile between now and the end of theday ahead of the jobs report tomorrow," he said, adding thatTepper's comments were moving the market in the short term.

Investors are next seen focusing on Friday's U.S. payrollsreport for May. It is expected to show job growth likely slowedlast month and the unemployment rate probably ticked up, but notby enough to upset the view that the economy is bouncing back.

Supporting the market, the number of Americans filing newclaims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but theunderlying trend continued to point to a firming labor market.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 84.21 points or0.5 percent, to 16,821.74, the S&P 500 gained 9.53 pointsor 0.49 percent, to 1,937.41 and the Nasdaq Composite added 30.39 points or 0.71 percent, to 4,282.04.

Sprint has agreed to pay about $40 per share to buyT-Mobile US, a person familiar with the matter toldReuters on Wednesday, marking further progress in the attempt tomerge the third and fourth-biggest U.S. mobile networkoperators. Sprint shares fell 2.1 percent to $9.20 whileT-Mobile US dropped 1.5 percent to $33.77.

Rite Aid shares slid 8.8 percent to $7.75 after itestimated first-quarter profit much below expectations.

Ciena Corp shares jumped 18.3 percent to $22.47after the company posted earnings that beat expectations andgave a revenue outlook above forecasts. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama andNick Zieminski)

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