* March private sector job additions blow past estimates
* Financial stocks gain, led by banks, on strong ADP data
* Panera Bread jumps after agreeing to $7.16 bln buyout
* Indexes up: Dow 0.71 pct, S&P 0.56 pct, Nasdaq 0.44 pct
(Updates to open)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
April 5 U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after
solid private employment data underscored the strength of the
economy, boosting financial stocks and helping calm investor
jitters over President Donald Trump's ability to deliver on his
The ADP National Employment report showed U.S. private
employers added 263,000 jobs in March, more than they hired in
February and well above economists' expectations.
The report serves as a precursor to Friday's nonfarm
payrolls report, which includes both public and private-sector
The S&P 500 financial sector rose 0.84 percent,
leading the seven gainers among the 11 major S&P sectors. The
financial index's gains were led by banks, which start reporting
first-quarter results next week.
At 9:57 a.m. ET the Dow Jones industrial average was
up 147.68 points, or 0.71 percent, at 20,836.92, the S&P 500
was up 13.1 points, or 0.56 percent, at 2,373.26 and the
Nasdaq Composite was up 25.80 points, or 0.44 percent,
Still, the indexes were trading in a narrow range, as they
have been for most of this week as investors shy away from big
bets ahead of a highly anticipated meeting between Trump and
Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The meeting, starting Thursday and which Trump expects will
be a "very difficult one", is likely to focus on reining in
North Korea's arms program and China-U.S. trade, which would
have implications on American companies in China.
The talks come on the heels of Trump facing recent setbacks
in pushing reforms through Congress, which have led some
investors to question his ability to deliver on tax reform and
other pro-business promises.
Wall Street has rallied on these promises, with analysts
saying the expectations of tax cuts have been priced in. The
lofty market valuations will be in sharp focus with the
first-quarter earnings season around the corner.
Walgreens fell 1.6 percent and weighed the most on
the S&P after the drugstore chain operator reported a surprise
drop in quarterly sales.
Panera Bread jumped 14 percent to $312.16 after JAB
Holdings said it would buy the bakery chain for $7.16 billion.
The Federal Reserve will release, at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800
GMT), the minutes of its March meeting, where it raised interest
rates. The minutes could reveal how policymakers view the hike
trajectory for the year and their thoughts on Trump's policies.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,048
to 629. On the Nasdaq, 1,829 issues rose and 601 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 16 52-week highs and three lows,
while the Nasdaq recorded 35 highs and 18 lows.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by