* Oil prices up more than 6 pct
* Kinder Morgan up after Berkshire reports stake
* Fossil, Priceline up after results beat estimates
* Indexes up: Dow 1.66 pct, S&P 1.51 pct, Nasdaq 2.11 pct (Updates to early afternoon)
By Abhiram Nandakumar
Feb 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street was on track for a third straight day of gains on Wednesday after a surge in oil prices fired up energy stocks.
The S&P energy sector jumped 3.24 percent, leading the nine gainers among the 10 major sectors.
The benchmark S&P 500 index staged its best two-day gain since late August as investors picked up beaten-down shares.
Still, the index is down 7.3 percent this year due to slumping oil prices, fears of a China-led slowdown in global growth and uncertainty about central bank policies.
Brent crude was up more than 7.5 percent after Iran voiced support for a move to freeze production by major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Sentiment surrounding the repercussions of the fall in crude oil and its impact on debt-laden energy companies is likely to ease with oil prices stabilizing, said John Burke, chief executive of Burke Financial Strategies in New York.
At 12:42 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up 243.87 points, or 1.51 percent, at 16,440.28.
The S&P 500 was up 31.38 points, or 1.66 percent, at 1,926.96 and the Nasdaq Composite index was up 93.76 points, or 2.11 percent, at 4,529.71.
Kinder Morgan shares were up 11 percent at $17.33 after Berkshire Hathaway disclosed a stake in the pipeline operator.
Fossil surged 26.7 percent at $43.65 after the watchmaker’s quarterly results beat estimates.
Priceline was 10.7 percent higher at $1,229.65 after the travel websites operator’s profit beat expectations.
Data released on Wednesday showed that U.S. housing starts unexpectedly fell in January. But, a separate report showed producer prices rose last month and there were signs of an uptick in underlying producer inflation.
Inflation is being watched closely for signs of whether the U.S. Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year.
Investors will get an insight on the Fed’s thinking when the minutes of the central bank’s January meeting are released at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has maintained that the central bank is still likely to raise rates in 2016. However, Fed funds futures suggest traders do not expect any increases this year.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,640 to 389. On the Nasdaq, 2,110 issues rose and 595 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed 13 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 19 new highs and 34 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza, Ted Kerr and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)