Wall Street higher as energy stocks gain

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BENGALURU (July 3): US stocks rose on Tuesday, boosted by energy stocks as oil prices rose, but gains were capped by a drop in technology stocks, with Facebook sliding on renewed concerns over its data scandal.

Facebook dropped 2% after the Washington Post reported a federal probe on the data breach linked to Cambridge Analytica was broadened and will include more government agencies.

The S&P technology sector fell 0.21% and and was the only one among the 11 main S&P 500 sectors to trade lower.

The gains were led by a 1.47% jump in the energy sector, with all its 31 components trading higher as oil prices climbed more than 1% after Libya declared force majeure on significant amounts of its supply.

Trade tensions continued to fester, with President Donald Trump on Monday warning the World Trade Organization of "doing something" if United States is not treated properly.

Also looming is a July 6 deadline when Washington is set to impose tariffs on US$34 billion worth of Chinese goods.

With the markets set to close at 1pm ET ahead of the Fourth of July holiday, trading volumes are expected to be thin and traders do not expect any major bets to be made.

"There's not going to be a lot ultimately taken away from today's trading regardless of what direction the market goes in," said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.

At 10:11am EDT the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 60.90 points, or 0.25%, at 24,368.08, the S&P 500 was up 5.09 points, or 0.19%, at 2,731.80 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 3.65 points, or 0.05%, at 7,564.04.

Shares of American Airlines, United Continental and Delta Air Lines fell between 1.2% and 2.2% after Deutsche Bank downgraded all three companies saying the growing US-China trade dispute could weigh on their results.

Tesla fell 3.7% and was set to add to its 2.3% drop from Monday when the electric carmaker said it met its Model 3 production goal but failed to convince investors it could continue to do so.

Economic data was mixed. New orders for US-made goods unexpectedly rose in May, pointing to a strengthening manufacturing sector, but business spending on equipment continued to show signs of slowing.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.32-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.70-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.

The S&P index recorded three new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 56 new highs and 17 new lows.