US STOCKS-S&P hits record; focus shifts to payrolls
* ECB cuts rates below zero to spur bank lending
* Rite Aid shares slide after outlook
* Sprint agrees to pay about $32 bln for T-Mobile US - source
* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 1 pct (Updates to close)
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, June 5 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the S&P 500 hitting a record for the seventh time in eight sessions, after the European Central Bank cut rates to record lows and pledged to do more if needed to fight off the risk of deflation.
Also helping stocks: hedge fund manager David Tepper was reported by CNBC as saying the ECB move partly "alleviated" his concerns about the market, after having said last month he was worried stock prices were stretched.
The ECB cut the deposit rate to -0.10 percent and launched a series of measures to pump money into the sluggish euro zone economy. It stopped short of full-fledged quantitative easing (QE) - printing money to buy assets - but ECB President Mario Draghi said more action would come if necessary.
"A lot of people were short, expecting a pullback coming into the ECB decision," said Michael James, managing director of equity trading at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles. "I think people were positioned for things to be underwhelming." Continuación...