US STOCKS-Payrolls report, Fed comments lift Wall Street


 * Employment jumps, jobless rate falls to two-year low
 * NYSE Euronext gains on rival bid from Nasdaq, ICE
 * S&P breaks above 1,330, could trigger technical momentum
 * Dow up 0.7 pct, S&P up 0.7 pct, Nasdaq up 0.6 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
  (Updates to afternoon)
 By Chuck Mikolajczak
 NEW YORK, April 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks climbed on Friday
after solid data on the labor market strengthened confidence in
the recovery and comments from a Federal Reserve Bank president
signaled support for economic stimulus efforts.
 The combination of an improving economy and support for the
completion of the Fed's second round of quantitative easing,
so-called QE2, pushed the S&P 500 through a technical level it
has been unable to sustain despite several attempts.
 U.S. employment grew solidly for a second month in March
and the jobless rate hit a two-year low of 8.8 percent. For
details, see [ID:nNOAT00477]
 New York Fed Bank President William Dudley said it would be
a "surprise" if the U.S. central bank did not complete its $600
billion in bond purchases to help the economy, though the
benefits of doing more have fallen. [ID:nWEN0387][N01172677]
 "If they indicated they were going to continue with QE2,
then that is a lot of the market," said Terry Morris, senior
equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in
Reading, Pennsylvania. "A lot of good news, a lot of momentum
and the Fed is accommodative."
 The S&P broke above 1,332, a significant level as it
represents double the 12-year low hit in March 2009. If the
index stays convincingly above that threshold, it may trigger
more buying.
 "1,333 is really the breakout -- we are making new highs
for the bull market for several indices and you will see
confirmation from the S&P shortly," said Marc Pado, U.S. market
strategist, Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. in San Francisco .
 The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 80.57
points, or 0.65 percent, to 12,400.30. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 9.76 points, or 0.74 percent, to
1,335.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) added 17.04
points, or 0.61 percent, to 2,798.11.
 The S&P 500 ended the first quarter on Thursday with a gain
of 5.4 percent.
 NYSE Euronext (NYX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) shares rallied after Nasdaq OMX Group
Inc (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N: Quote, Profile, Research) unveiled
a bid to buy the rival exchanges operator, topping an earlier
offer from Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1Gn.DE: Quote, Profile, Research). [ID:nL3E7F11TO]
 <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
 To see a graphic on jobs
 http://r.reuters.com/kab88r                         
 To see a graphic comparing global exchanges          
 http://r.reuters.com/gab88r
 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>
 NYSE's stock surged 12.8 percent to $39.66 while ICE shares
lost 4.1 percent to $118.52 and Nasdaq OMX rose 7.8 percent to
$27.85.
 In another snapshot of the economy, the U.S. manufacturing
sector grew at a marginally slower pace in March, according to
the Institute for Supply Management. The Commerce Department
said construction spending fell more than expected in February,
dropping to its lowest level since October 1999.
[ID:nN31163532] [ID:nN01172022]
  (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Kenneth Barry)







US STOCKS-Payrolls report, Fed comments lift Wall Street