US STOCKS-Wall Street trundles higher as battered investors eye support
* Durable goods orders rebound strongly in Jan
* Salesforce.com up after raising revenue forecast
* Dow up 0.77 pct, S&P up 0.60 pct, Nasdaq up 0.36 pct (Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
Feb 25 (Reuters) - Wall Street gained on Thursday as strong U.S. manufacturing data pointed to a recovery in the struggling sector and some investors saw opportunities after weeks of volatility.
Orders for U.S. durable goods rose more than expected in January as demand picked up across the board, offering a ray of hope for the downtrodden manufacturing sector.
The second uptick in two days for stocks came despite a drop in oil prices, which have been a major influence on markets this year as investors view weak energy demand as a sign of sluggish global growth.
The S&P 500 has recovered 6 percent in the past nine sessions but it remains down 5 percent in 2016 as oil hovers near decade lows. Some investors took Wall Street's recent gains as a sign that prices are stabilizing.
"I have a lot of people calling me and saying 'Hey, I've got $50,000 in the bank earning zero percent. Is it time to put it to work?'," said Jake Dollarhide, chief executive officer of Longbow Asset Management in Tulsa, Oklahoma, which has about $50 million in assets under management. Continuación...