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US STOCKS-Market hits highs on AT&T/Verizon report

NEW YORK, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks jumped to session highs on Friday following a CNBC report that AT&T T.N was near a $2.5 billion deal to buy most of Verizon's VZ.N AllTel divestitures.

* The news provided an additional underpinning to a market that was already buoyed by hopes that the worst is over for the financial sector and by data showing fewer-than-expected April job cuts.

* The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 168.30 points, or 2.00 percent, at 8,578.15. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX was up 21.69 points, or 2.39 percent, at 929.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC was up 23.49 points, or 1.37 percent, at 1,739.73. (Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)

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