* Crude up as cold wave boosts short-term demand
* Apple rises after Piper Jaffray says buy
* GE, American Express biggest losers on Dow
* Indexes up: Dow 1.09 pct, S&P 1.75 pct, Nasdaq 2.26 pct (Updates to afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
Jan 22 (Reuters) - Wall Street surged on Friday and was on track for its first positive week of 2016 as a cold snap in the United States and Europe sent oil prices sharply higher.
All 10 major S&P sectors rose, led by a 3.5-percent jump in the S&P energy sector.
Crude prices, recently under pressure from a global glut, recovered 9 percent as harsh winter weather boosted demand for heating oil and traders cashed in short positions following a steep drop this month.
After dropping earlier this week to 2014 lows, the S&P 500 has recovered 2.5 percent in the past two sessions. But it is still down 7 percent in 2016 and remains at levels touched last August when fears of trouble in China’s economy rattled global markets.
“I don’t think anyone really believes we’ve seen the bottom,” said Warren West, principal at Greentree Brokerage Services in Philadelphia. “It’s a nice bounce, but it’s still trading in the range of those August lows and you can’t really call it a rally.”
U.S. economic data on Friday showed existing home sales soared nearly 15 percent in December, handily beating estimates and recovering from a 10.5 percent fall in November.
At 2:41 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average was up 1.09 percent to 16,056.5 and the S&P 500 gained 1.75 percent to 1,901.76.
The Nasdaq Composite rose 2.26 percent to 4,573.11.
Apple rose 4.5 percent and gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq. Despite widespread concerns about potentially weak iPhone demand, Piper Jaffray recommended buying Apple’s shares heading into its quarterly results next week.
Fourth-quarter earnings reports are likely to offer little cheer, with S&P 500 companies on average expected to post a 4.3 percent decline in profit, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Shares of General Electric declined 1.2 percent after its quarterly revenue missed analysts’ estimates.
American Express fell 12 percent after a disappointing earnings forecast.
Schlumberger rose 5.8 percent. The world’s biggest oilfield services company reported better-than-expected profit and set a $10 billion buyback program.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,731 to 365. On the Nasdaq, 2,243 issues rose and 575 fell.
The S&P 500 showed three new 52-week highs and seven new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 10 new highs and 39 new lows. (Additional reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nick Zieminski)