April 12, 2016 / 1:57 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St slightly higher as oil rises

* Alcoa drops after revenue misses estimates

* Juniper Networks down after weak forecast

* Dow up 0.25 pct, S&P up 0.19 pct, Nasdaq down 0.02 pct (Updates to open)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

April 12 (Reuters) - Wall Street was slightly higher on Tuesday as a surge in oil drove gains in energy stocks.

Benchmark Brent edged up over $43 per barrel on hopes that a meeting of major producers on Sunday would result in a deal to curb a persistent global oversupply.

Shares of Alcoa were down 4.5 percent at $9.29 after the company’s lackluster quarterly results.

Investors will turn their attention to corporate earnings over the next several weeks, amid turbulent global markets and the uncertainty surrounding the U.S. Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates.

“The market has been in a small consolidating phase, biding time and waiting for the next driver that will dictate the next move in equities,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“The earnings season is going to set a clear tone moving forward for the next quarter of trading. The direction has yet to be determined,” he said.

The S&P 500 has risen more than 12 percent from its low in February as oil rebounded and data suggested that the U.S. economy was recovering.

S&P 500 companies are expected to post an average decline in profit of 7.7 percent for the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Still, global risks remain a concern. The International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecast for the fourth time in the past year on Tuesday, citing China’s slowdown, low oil prices and chronic weakness in advanced economies.

At 9:41 a.m. ET (1341 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 43.9 points, or 0.25 percent, at 17,600.31, the S&P 500 was up 3.92 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,045.91 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.99 points, or 0.02 percent, at 4,832.41.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.66 percent rise in the energy sector.

Citigroup rose 1.2 percent to $41.59 and led bank stocks higher. JPMorgan is set to kick off big-bank earnings with its results on Wednesday.

Juniper Networks sank 9 percent to $22.66 after the company estimated quarterly profit and revenue below analysts’ expectations.

Starbucks fell 3.1 percent to $59.02 after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock to “hold” from “buy.”

Abbvie rose 1 percent to $59.06 after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted accelerated approval for the company’s blood cancer drug.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,783 to 828. On the Nasdaq, 1,176 issues rose and 1,022 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed four new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded six new highs and eight new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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