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* Paramount Global up as bidders await word from special committee

* Spirit Airlines falls after weak Q2 revenue forecast

* Indexes up: Dow 0.38%, S&P 0.52%, Nasdaq 0.53%

May 6 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main stock indexes gained on Monday as expectations of interest rate cuts this year by the Federal Reserve grew stronger following a soft payrolls data last week.

The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow closed at three-week highs on Friday after data showed U.S. job growth slowed more than expected in April, taking pressure off the U.S. central bank to keep rates higher for longer.

Traders are currently pricing in rate cuts worth 48 basis points from the Fed by the end of 2024, with the first cut expected in September or November, according to LSEG's rate probability app. In recent weeks, traders had priced in just one cut due to signs of sticky inflation.

"It's been this tug of war between what you're seeing play out in the rates market and the repricing of inflation and Fed policy versus what you're seeing on the earnings front," said Garrett Melson, portfolio strategist at Natixis Investment Managers Solutions.

"In our opinion, it's been a pretty even battle so far."

U.S. stock indexes appear to have stabilized after a rocky April, as a much better-than-expected first-quarter earnings season and hopes of U.S. monetary policy easing draw buyers back into the market.

The Fed left interest rates unchanged last week and signaled it was leaning toward eventual reductions in borrowing costs, but repeated that it wants to gain "greater confidence" that inflation will continue to fall before cutting rates.

Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin and his New York counterpart John Williams are scheduled to speak later in the day, kicking off speeches from a host of U.S. central bank policymakers this week.

Key data releases this week include weekly jobless claims and U.S. consumer sentiment data for May.

With the earnings season in full swing, investors will also keep an eye on quarterly numbers from major firms including Walt Disney, Uber and Arm Holdings this week.

Of the 397 firms in the S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Friday, 76.8% beat analysts' profit estimates, compared with the long-term average of 66.7%, as per LSEG data.

At 09:41 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 146.36 points, or 0.38%, to 38,822.38, the S&P 500 gained 26.70 points, or 0.52%, to 5,154.49 and the Nasdaq Composite gained 85.00 points, or 0.53%, to 16,241.33.

Nine of 11 S&P 500 sectors traded in the green, with energy leading gains, up 1.2%, on higher crude prices.

Paramount Global added 4.2% after the media company ended its exclusive negotiations with Skydance Media without a deal, allowing the special committee to entertain other offers from rival bidders.

Perficient jumped 52.8% after Swedish private equity firm EQT AB said it would take the U.S.-based digital consultancy firm private in an all-cash deal valued at about $3 billion.

Spirit Airlines shed 8.7% after the U.S. carrier forecast second-quarter revenue below Wall Street estimates, driven by sluggish improvement in domestic demand and grounding of dozens of its aircraft.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.14-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.82-to-1 ratio on Nasdaq.

The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 74 new highs and 14 new lows. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Shristi Achar A in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Shinjini Ganguli)