* ECB cuts rates, to buy asset-backed securities
* ADP payrolls short of estimates, initial claims up
* Ciena stumbles after results, outlook
* Indexes up: Dow 0.23 pct, S&P 0.26 pct, Nasdaq 0.33 pct (Updates to afternoon, adds new comments, details on BP)
By Akane Otani
NEW YORK, Sept 4 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Thursdayafter the European Central Bank cut interest rates and announceda new plan to stimulate the euro zone economy, and as a flurryof data pointed to a steadily improving U.S. economy.
Both the Dow and S&P 500 touched record intraday highs afterthe ECB's surprise move, with the benchmark index hitting a highof 2,011.17. Investors had hoped for decisiveaction from the ECB to thwart deflation and spur stagnatinggrowth in the euro zone, a key trading partner of the U.S.
"The last time the ECB president made such a strongstatement back in 2012, when he said he would take whateveraction necessary to support the economy, it stabilized riskassets across the globe. I think this is a very similar moment,"said Anwiti Bahuguna, senior portfolio manager for ColumbiaManagement in Boston.
U.S.-listed shares of BP Plc fell 4.9 percent to$45.38 after a U.S. district judge ruled the company was"grossly negligent" for its role in a massive oil spill in theGulf of Mexico in 2010. About $8.8 billion waswiped off BP's market value Thursday as the stock suffered itsworst percentage decline since June 2012.
Shares (Frankfurt: DI6.F - news) of Apple (NasdaqGS: AAPL - news) were up 0.6 percent at $99.50. Thestock had tumbled 4.2 percent a day earlier in the wake of newsof a security beach of its iCloud service.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 39.85 points,or 0.23 percent, to 17,118.13. The S&P 500 was up 5.18points, or 0.26 percent, to 2,005.9. The Nasdaq Composite added 15.19 points, or 0.33 percent, to 4,587.75.
Data showed U.S. initial jobless claims rose to 302,000 lastweek, within levels consistent with a strengthening labormarket, while U.S. companies hired fewer workers than expectedin August, according to the private ADP survey. The U.S. LaborDepartment will release the widely watched monthly jobs reporton Friday.
A separate report showed the U.S. trade deficit narrowedJuly to its lowest point in six months. Meanwhile, growth in theU.S. services sector rose in August to its best level since2005.
Ciena Corp shares dropped 7.6 percent to $18.91after the network equipment company posted third-quarter resultsand provided its fourth-quarter outlook. (Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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