* Bank of America profit rises as costs fall
* Delta profit up, helped by cheap fuel
* Netflix to report after the bell
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct (Updates to midday)
By Tanya Agrawal
April 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday led by gains in the energy sector as crude prices jumped and as earnings from major companies beat lowered expectations.
All 10 major S&P 500 sectors posted gains with the energy index up 1.7 percent. U.S. crude jumped more than 4 percent after a lower-than-expected build of crude stockpiles in the United States.
Intel, which reported results after the bell on Tuesday, was up 4.3 percent at $32.84 as it forecast flat revenue for the entire year despite some weakness in the first quarter.
Delta Air Lines’ first-quarter profit topped analysts’ expectations as cheap fuel continued to help its bottom line. Its stock rose 3.7 percent to $44.69.
“The positive results from Intel and other companies have allowed the markets to breathe a sigh of relief since the reports haven’t been a complete disaster,” said Jeff Clark, a trading analyst at Stansberry Research in Baltimore.
Concerns had been growing that this earnings season will be weak as lower oil prices hit the energy sector, a strong U.S. dollar weighs on multinationals, and because of extreme weather in the eastern United States. First-quarter profits for S&P 500 companies are seen falling 2.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
At 11:52 a.m. EDT (1552 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average rose 56.72 points, or 0.31 percent, to 18,093.42, the S&P 500 gained 9.31 points, or 0.44 percent, to 2,105.15 and the Nasdaq Composite added 21.14 points, or 0.42 percent, to 4,998.42.
HCA Holdings’ shares were up 2.5 percent at $79.30 after the hospital operator said it expects first-quarter results above analysts’ expectations.
Bank of America‘s, shares were down 0.5 percent at $15.73. The No. 2 U.S. bank by assets’ first-quarter profit narrowly beating analysts’ estimates.
Video streaming company Netflix will report after the market close.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,007 to 929, for a 2.16-to-1 ratio; on the Nasdaq, 1,692 issues rose and 904 fell, for a 1.87-to-1 ratio.
The S&P 500 was posting 14 new 52-week highs and 1 new low; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 64 new highs and 10 new lows.
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Nick Zieminski