(Corrects drop in U.S. trade deficit to 19.2 percent from 26.6 percent in 7th paragraph)
* Private employers add more jobs than forecast in May
* U.S. trade deficit narrows in April
* ECB leaves cost of borrowing unchanged
* Synchronoss jumps on reports of possible sale
* Indexes up: Dow 0.35 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.37 pct
By Tanya Agrawal
June 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher in early trading on Wednesday after data showed that the country’s private sector added more jobs than expected in May and the European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at record lows.
U.S. private employers added 201,000 jobs last month, a report by a payrolls processor ADP showed, higher than the 165,000 additions in April and economists’ estimate of a gain of 200,000 for May.
The data is a precursor to the U.S. Labor Department’s non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment numbers.
“There was nothing disturbing in the numbers,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
“The number is strong enough to create some sensitivity around the timing of a rate hike in the second half of the year.”
The ECB’s decision to leave rates unchanged was widely expected after the central bank cut rates to rock-bottom levels last September and said they had hit “the lower bound”.
U.S. trade deficit narrowed 19.2 percent in April, the largest decrease since early 2009, as exports of services hit a record high and imports fell.
Investors have been keeping a keen eye on economic data for clues on the timing of a rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve - the first in nearly a decade.
Also due on Wednesday is the Institute for Supply Management’s non-manufacturing index for May at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).
At 9:46 a.m. ET (1346 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 63.9 points, or 0.35 percent, at 18,075.84, the S&P 500 was up 4.63 points, or 0.22 percent, at 2,114.23 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 18.64 points, or 0.37 percent, at 5,095.16.
Seven of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the tech sector’s 0.47 percent rise leading the gains.
The utilities index fell 0.83 percent after U.S. Treasury debt yields rose. Utilities and other dividend paying shares tend to compete with bonds as investments.
Synchronoss Technologies’ shares jumped 16.6 percent to $49.60 after the Wall Street Journal reported that the software maker was working on a possible sale that could be valued at more than $2 billion.
Vera Bradley slumped 13 percent to a record low of $12.32 after the handbag maker posted a quarterly loss and said it was not attracting enough new customers.
Wendy’s rose 3.7 percent to $11.51 after the hamburger chain said it would buy back $1.4 billion of shares by the end of 2016, including some from Nelson Peltz’s Trian Group, its largest shareholder.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,364 to 1,304, for a 1.05-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,369 issues rose and 871 fell for a 1.57-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and three new lows while the Nasdaq recorded 51 new highs and 11 new lows. (Editing by Ted Kerr and Savio D‘Souza)