US stocks rise with petroleum shares gaining

NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks finished modestly higher on Friday with petroleum-linked stocks posting strong gains, even as worries about earnings cut into gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 35.00 points (0.2 per cent) to 17,576.96, about 120 points below its session peak.

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 5.69 (0.28 per cent) to 2,047.604, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index added (0.05 per cent) at 4,850.69.

US oil prices surged about 6.6 per cent, lifting petroleum producers like Chevron and Anadarko Petroleum, up 1.6 per cent and 5.6 per cent, respectively.

But the broader market weakened late in the session, likely "due to investors taking some money off the table before earnings season," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standards Financial.

Among Dow components, American Express and Coca-Cola both rose 1.1 per cent, while Nike dropped 1.5 per cent Facebook fell 2.7 per cent and Tesla Motors lost 2.8 per cent.

Gap slumped 13.8 per cent after reporting that comparable sales for March fell 6 per cent, including a 14 per cent dive in its Banana Republic chain.

Intercept Pharmaceuticals fell 5 per cent after announcing that a US Food and Drug Administration panel recommended accelerated approval of its Ocaliva treatment for patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.

However, Morgan Stanley said the panel failed to endorse use for patients with an aggressive form of the disease, a decision with "important commercial implications."