Wall Street propped up at open by tech stocks

NEW YORK (REUTERS) - Wall Street was higher for the first time in three days on Tuesday as a rise in technology stocks helped offset losses in energy shares.

Google parent Alphabet rose 0.7 per cent after JPMorgan raised its price target on the stock, driving the S&P 500 technology index up 0.4 per cent.

However, oil prices fell 2.8 per cent to US$46.05 as hopes for a deal to cut output faded. The S&P 500 energy index dropped 1.22 per cent.

With just six weeks until Election Day, some investors see a toss-up contest creating volatility in certain sectors, including health insurers, drugmakers and industrials.

Investors are digesting Hillary Clinton's apparent win over Donald Trump in Monday's first presidential debate.

Ms Clinton is seen as the candidate of the status quo, while few are sure what a Trump presidency might mean for US foreign policy, international trade deals or the domestic economy.

"Volatility is going to be the norm, not the exception over the next several weeks," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Equity Capital Markets in New York.

At 9:44 a.m. EDT (9:44 p.m Singapore time), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 25.03 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 18,119.86. The S&P 500 was up 1.86 points, or 0.09 per cent, at 2,147.96. Six of its 11 major indexes were higher. The Nasdaq Composite was up 10.69 points, or 0.2 per cent, at 5,268.19.

Investors will be closely following a speech by Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer for hints on the timing of the next interest rate hike scheduled to speak at Howard University.

The S&P 500 index showed one new 52-week highs and one new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 11 new lows.