Major U.S. indices are rising in midday trading on Wednesday as crude prices continue to jump today.
The S&P 500 was up 1.4%, officially exiting correction territory, as the major indices remain on track for their first three-day winning streak of 2016.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained $1.75 to trade at $30.80 per barrel, while industry benchmark Brent crude is up $2.24 to $34.42 per barrel. The commodity is climbing for the second straight session, lifting European and American markets as it does.
Crude is making gains today after Iran's oil minister said that he welcomes OPEC's efforts to stabilize oil prices. "We look forward to the beginning of cooperation between OPEC and non-OPEC countries and we support any measure that can stabilize the market and increase prices," said Bijan Zanganeh, Iran's oil minister.
Investors also are looking to next week's release of the latest existing home sales and new home sales numbers. Today, the housing starts and permits numbers showed a 3.8% decline to an annual rate of 1.099 million. Analysts on average were expecting an annualized rate of 1.175 million starts.
Kinder Morgan (KMI) shares continue to spike in trading after Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B) revealed it bought a stake of 26.5 million KMI shares valued at more than $395 million. However, Real Money chartist Bruce Kamich says KMI still has a long road of recovery ahead.
Read Bruce Kamich's take on Kinder Morgan.
Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP) are climbing after Staples helped raise the chances that its proposed merger with Office Depot receives regulatory approval by selling some of its commercial contracts and assets to office supply company Essendant (ESND) for about $22.5 million. U.S. regulators have bristled on giving the two companies' proposed $6.4 billion merger the green light due to antitrust concerns.
Read about 'Stressed Out' Office Depot.
On the down side of the market, Groupon (GRPN) is one of the hardest fallers today, down about 9% on more than triple its daily volume. GRPN had spiked in the previous session after Chinese Internet retail company Alibaba (BABA) purchased a 5.6% stake in the company.
Catalyst Pharmaceuticals (CPRX) was down more than 38% this afternoon after the company received a rare "refuse to file" letter from the Food and Drug Administration on its new drug application for a rare, muscle-wasting disorder.
Read Adam Feurstein's take on Catalyst Pharmaceuticals.