US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs on job expectations

  
 * ADP report fails to alarm on jobs outlook
 * Cephalon soars after bid from Canada's Valeant Pharma
 * Investors reallocate as quarter's end nears
 * Dow up 0.6 pct, S&P up 0.7 pct, Nasdaq up 0.6 pct
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 (Updates to midday, changes byline)
 By Chuck Mikolajczak
 NEW YORK, March 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on
Wednesday, as a private employment report did little to shake
up expectations for Friday's payrolls data while investors
positioned themselves for the quarter's end.
 The U.S. labor market showed signs of further recovery in
March, as private-sector employers added jobs and planned
layoffs fell, according to data released on Wednesday. For
details, see [ID:nN30275708]
 While the report may not hold predictive value for the
government's broader non-farm payrolls report due on Friday,
the reading was largely in line with expectations and failed
to alarm investors.
 "At 200,000 or so, that number is not enough to excite the
market one way or the other -- if it indeed happens to be the
number for payrolls on Friday," said John Canally, and
economist for LPL Financial in Boston.
 "You need well below that to get people worried about a
double-dip (recession) and well above that to get people too
worried that the Fed is going to tighten."
 Stocks also advanced as investors re-allocated positions
for the end of the quarter, with the S&P 500 up 5.5 percent.
 "They are selling commodities, they are moving back into
industrials -- you've got a mini-market rotation coming into
your final couple of days of the quarter, and that is the way
the window dressing takes place. It's also how the
pre-positioning takes place for the start of the quarter,"
said Paul Mendelsohn, chief investment strategist at Windham
Financial Services in Charlotte, Vermont.
 The PHLX Oil Service sector (.OSX: Quote, Profile, Research). up 8.8 percent since
March 10, shed 0.4 percent on Wednesday.
 The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 73.42
points, or 0.60 percent, to 12,352.43. The Standard & Poor's
500 Index (.SPX: Quote, Profile, Research) added 8.67 points, or 0.66 percent, to
1,328.11. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 15.24
points, or 0.55 percent, to 2,772.12.
 Investors also were eyeing the 1,330 level as a possible
resistance point for stocks, with the benchmark S&P unable to
hold gains above that mark in its three previous attempts.
 In the latest on the M&A front, Canadian drugmaker Valeant
Pharmaceuticals International on Tuesday (VRX.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(VRX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) made
an unsolicited bid to buy Cephalon Inc (CEPH.O: Quote, Profile, Research) for $5.7
billion, driving Cephalon's stock up 28.1 percent to $75.25
while Valeant's U.S.-listed shares shot up 10.4 percent to
$49. [ID:nN29299668]
 (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)







US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs on job expectations