U.S. stocks open higher as oil’s surge backs the energy sector

U.S. stocks went up modestly after the opening bell Thursday, as oil prices surged on worries that wildfires raging in Alberta could hamstring crude output.

The S&P 500 index SPX, rose 3 points, or 0.1%, to 2,053, led by strong gains in the energy sector, up 1.7%.

The Dow industrials DJIA, rose 25 points, or 0.1%, to 17,670, boosted by a 1.3% rise in Chevron Corporation, The Nasdaq Composite climbed 4 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4,729.

Strong earnings from companies like Tesla Motors Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. BABA, +4.12% also helped boost the broader market.

But the main benchmarks were weighed by weak data on the U.S. labor market, where the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits at the end of April rose to a five-week high, missing economists’ expectations.

The jobless-claims data came one day after a weaker-than-expected report on private-sector payrolls and a fall in worker productivity, which pushed stocks to finish lower on Wednesday.

Source: MarketWatch