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U.S. stock indexes move higher in early trading; oil up

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Energy companies and retailers led US stocks broadly higher in morning trading Thursday, as the market rebounded from modest losses the day before.

Wall Street retreated from record levels on Wednesday after a drop in oil prices pressured energy stocks, while shares of Walt Disney surged on its results and an acquisition.

Investors also bought up shares in several other retail chains.

At 2:39 pm, ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.33 per cent at 18,472.66 points and the S&P 500 had lost 0.43 per cent to 2,172.44.

The S&P energy index jumped 1.68 percent, making it the top gainer among the 10 major sectors of the benchmark, led by gains in Exxon and Chevron.

The Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.11 percent to 5,222.90. Kimco Realty slid 33 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $30.74.

MARKETS OVERSEAS: In Europe, Germany's DAX rose 0.8 percent, while France's CAC 40 was up 0.9 percent.

The energy index fell 1.04 per cent, hurt by a drop in oil prices after the U.S. government reported a surprise crude stockpile build.

The S&P 500 index showed 27 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 78 new highs and 26 new lows.

Transocean slid the most among stocks in the S&P 500, shedding 47 cents, or 4.5 percent, to $9.90.

Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.34-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.33-to-1 ratio favoured decliners.

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A sharp sell-off in energy companies has pulled USA stock indexes modestly lower, wiping out small gains from the day before.

Traders bid up oil prices in response to the International Energy Agency's latest forecast.

"It looks like US markets are going to go higher until my daughter graduates, and she's only 3 years old", said Erik Wytenus, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Palm Beach Florida.

Disney (DIS) reported upbeat second-quarter results and announced the purchase of a stake in video-streaming service BAMTech.

Nordstrom rose 8.57 percent after the department store chain operator reported better-than-expected comparable sales and quarterly profit.

Copper futures added 0.1 percent to $2.1730 a pound in NY, after rising 1 percent last session amid the dollar's retreat.

West Texas Intermediate crude lost another 0.6 percent to $41.46 a barrel, after sinking 2.5 percent on Wednesday, the most since August 1. The stock added 4.19 dollars (£3.22) to 36.83 dollars (£28.33). Shares in Kohl's jumped $5.37, or 14.1 percent, to $43.41. Contracts on the Kospi index in Seoul added 0.1 percent, while FTSE China A50 Index futures were down 0.2 percent.

The Kiwi was up 1.1 percent to 72.87 US cents, after reaching as high as 73.41 USA cents, its strongest level since May 2015.

Non-deliverable forwards on the South Korean won snapped a three-day climb, weakening 0.2 percent in early Thursday trade. New Zealand followed Australia in reducing rates to a fresh all-time low, and wagers on the Federal Reserve hiking borrowing costs this year remain below 50 percent as traders bet uneven expansion elsewhere will see the US central bank exercise caution. Natural gas fell a penny to $2.55 per 1,000 cubic feet.

Bond prices rose. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.51 percent from 1.56 late Thursday. In currency markets, the dollar weakened to 101.29 yen from 101.90 on Tuesday, while the euro strengthened to $1.1175 from $1.1107.

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