US stocks rise for third straight day; oil prices up

 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks opened higher Wednesday, extending a rally for a third day, as oil prices moved higher.

About eight minutes into trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 16,329.59, up 133.18 points (0.82 per cent).

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 17.02 (0.90 per cent) to 1,912.60, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 42.51 (0.96 per cent) to 4,478.46. analyst Patrick O'Hare said Wednesday's rise was sentiment-driven and that the gains in oil prices appeared to be based on an assumption Iran would limit its oil output in cooperation with other major producers, even though Iran has signalled no plans to do that.

"In sentiment-driven rallies, however, it's a little easier to put a new spin on the same old things," he said.

The US Federal Reserve's minutes from the January meeting will be released at 3 am Singapore time and could offer additional clues on the odds of further interest rate increases in 2016.