June 13, 2019 / 2:08 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Energy shares power Wall Street higher

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* Oil surges 4%; Energy top gainer among S&P sectors

* Tyson Foods rises after launching vegan products

* Disney up as MS sees higher Disney Plus subscriber growth

* Indexes up: Dow 0.42%, S&P 0.45%, Nasdaq 0.66% (Updates to open)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

June 13 (Reuters) - Gains in energy shares helped Wall Street’s main indexes snap two days of weakness and trade higher on Thursday, with hopes of an interest rate cut adding to the upbeat sentiment. Crude prices rose as much as 4%, a day after hitting five-month lows, after a suspected attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes.

The S&P energy index jumped 1.21%, the most among the 11 major sectors. Shares of oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp rose 1% each.

“There is a positive correlation between stock markets and oil prices which is the day’s catalyst,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Wall Street’s main indexes have had a strong start to the month on hopes that the Federal Reserve will act to counter a slowing global economy due to the escalating trade war with China. The benchmark S&P 500 index has risen 5% so far in June.

U.S. consumer prices data on Wednesday pointed to a moderate rise in inflation, adding to expectations of an interest rate cut as early as July. The Fed policymakers are set to meet on June 18-19 and markets have priced in at least three rate cuts in 2019.

But on the trade front, there were doubts about any improvement in what President Donald Trump called “testy” trade relations with China in the run up to the G20 summit later in this month.

“There is still uncertainty about trade policy and about what the Fed is going to do. That is still keeping a lot of people back on their heels at this point,” Brown said.

Walt Disney Co shares rose 2.56%, pushing the communication services sector 0.80% higher, after Morgan Stanley raised its forecast for Disney Plus subscriber growth.

At 9:53 a.m. ET the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 109.90 points, or 0.42%, at 26,114.73, the S&P 500 was up 13.06 points, or 0.45%, at 2,892.90 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 51.41 points, or 0.66%, at 7,844.13.

Offering the biggest boost to the indexes were gains in marquee companies Facebook Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc, which rose between 0.5% and 1.1%.

Tyson Foods rose 1.51% after the meat processor launched its first vegan and mixed protein products. Shares of vegan burger maker Beyond Meat dropped 1.65%.

Twitter Inc shares fell 3.26%, the most among S&P 500 companies, after brokerage Moffett Nathanson said it expects the social media company’s costs to rise and revenue growth to slow.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.87-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.48-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded 23 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 24 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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