(Corrects company name to Endo International PLC from Endo Pharmaceuticals and corrects stock symbol in 11th paragraph)
* China’s central bank cuts reserve requirement ratio
* U.S. crude rises more than 3 pct
* Valeant drops after delaying release of results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.27 pct, S&P 0.27 pct, Nasdaq 0.45 pct
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Feb 29 (Reuters) - Wall Street edged up on Monday on China’s move to boost its slowing economy and higher oil prices, putting the S&P 500 on track to post its first monthly gains this year.
China’s central bank on Monday cut its reserve requirement ratio, or the amount of cash that banks must hold as reserves, for the fifth time in a year.
“It’s sort of like a sugar shock, a bump in near-term growth at the expense of longer-term credibility. I think investors are caught weighing the two,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.
U.S. crude prices rose more than 3 percent after Saudi Arabia said it would work with other producers to limit oil market volatility.
At 12:34 p.m. ET (1734 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 44.34 points, or 0.27 percent, at 16,684.31, the S&P 500 was up 5.26 points, or 0.27 percent, at 1,953.31 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 20.53 points, or 0.45 percent, at 4,611.00.
Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by 0.78 percent rise in the materials sector.
The S&P 500 on Monday stayed above its 50-day moving average, which some traders say is a sign of improving sentiment.
Strong data, including improving consumer spending trends, released last week suggested the U.S. economy was recovering better than expected, raising expectations that the Federal Reserve will hike rates this year.
Federal funds futures implied traders see a 38 percent chance of a hike in June and a 57 percent chance in December, according to CME Group’s FedWatch program.
The S&P healthcare sector was down 0.37 percent and was the biggest drag on the index.
Shares of Endo International PLC slumped 17.9 percent to $43.47 after its revenue forecast missed estimates. The stock was the biggest drag on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.
Valeant was down 7.3 percent at $74.73 after the Canadian drugmaker said its chief executive would return from medical leave, and it delayed the release of its quarterly results.
Icahn Enterprises was up 7.4 percent at $61.63 after the activist investor offered to buy the rest of Federal Mogul . Shares of the auto parts maker soared 43.2 percent to $7.13.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,089 to 864. On the Nasdaq, 1,754 issues rose and 938 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 33 new highs and 27 lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)