Wall Street opens higher as oil prices boost energy shares

Stocks rose strongly across the board, but Disney shares fell after hours on disappointing earnings.
The Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Feb 28, 2012.
The Wall Street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange in New York, on Feb 28, 2012.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Wall Street opened higher on Tuesday, tracking global equities, as investors' appetite for risk increased and as oil prices rose, boosting energy shares.

Oil was up about 1.5 per cent, driven by supply disruptions in Canada and elsewhere that have knocked out 2.5 million barrels of daily production and overshadowed fears of oversupply.

World stock markets also rose, helped by solid corporate earnings in Europe, progress on Greek debt talks, and a new pledge by Japan that it was prepared to weaken its currency.

The S&P 500, which has risen about 15 per cent since its February lows, has slowed its rally in the last two weeks due to underwhelming quarterly earnings and mixed United States economic data. "The market has been resilient and has offered the opportunity for the buyers of the pullback to capitalize on it and that's why we're seeing a move back into equities," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

US stocks broke a three-day losing streak to close higher on Friday after a disappointing US jobs report suggested the Federal Reserve would raise rates just once this year. Wall Street also ended mostly higher on Monday, helped by a rally in healthcare shares.

At 9:37 a.m. ET (9.37 pm Singapore time) on Tuesday, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 117.04 points, or 0.66 percent, at 17,822.95.

The S&P 500 was up 10.77 points, or 0.52 per cent, at 2,069.46 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 15.73 points, or 0.33 per cent, at 4,765.94.

All 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.75 per cent rise in the energy index.

Amazon's 2.5 per cent rise was the biggest boost on the S&P and the Nasdaq, while Goldman Sachs' 1.3 per cent increase helped lift the Dow.

Investors will be watching out for wholesale inventories data at 10 a.m. ET, keen to see if inventories, which fell at their fastest pace in nearly three years in February, rebounded 0.1 per cent, as analysts expect, in March.