* Fed’s Dudley keeps June rate hike on the table depending on data
* Mylan jumps after JPMorgan note hints at deal
* Fed minutes due at 1800 GMT
* Indexes up: Dow 0.15 pct, S&P 0.13 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct (Updates prices, adds comment)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks pared initial gains to trade slightly higher on Wednesday as energy stocks sold off after a large buildup in crude stockpiles sent oil futures reeling.
Brent slid 3.3 percent and U.S. crude lost more than 4 percent after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed the largest weekly build in oil inventories since March 2001.
Energy stocks, which had been supported by Royal Dutch Shell’s $70 billion bid for rival BG Group, fell sharply after the EIA data.
“It’s a huge build so how are we looking at it - is it a slowdown in the economy? Certainly the market is feeling that,” said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey.
At 11:07 a.m. (1507 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average rose 26.19 points, or 0.15 percent, to 17,901.61, the S&P 500 gained 2.74 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,079.07 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.69 points, or 0.5 percent, to 4,934.92.
Mylan jumped 6 percent to $63.12, boosting the Nasdaq, after JPMorgan analysts said in a note the merits from a potential merger between Teva Pharmaceutical and Mylan would be “hard to ignore.” U.S.-traded Teva shares gained 0.4 percent to $64.49.
Traders were keeping an eye out for the release of minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s March policy meeting, in which the Fed downgraded its economic growth and inflation projections while leaving the door open to kick-start its tightening path, expected at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).
New York Fed President William Dudley said Wednesday a June rate hike remains on the table, reiterating the Fed mantra that any tightening is data dependent.
As the reporting season gains momentum, first-quarter S&P 500 earnings are projected to show a decline of 2.8 percent from a year earlier, which would be the worst comparatives since the third quarter of 2009.
“We are waiting on earnings and all signs are that it is not going to be a great quarter,” Saluzzi said. “Whether it is weather or the dollar, you are going to see excuses like that being built into company reports.”
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,650 to 1,206, for a 1.37-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,557 issues rose and 973 fell for a 1.60-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 9 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 46 new highs and 18 new lows. (Additioal reporting by Tanya Agrawal and Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli)