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Wall Street gains as factory data shines amid oil gloom | Reuters

Wall Street was little changed in choppy trading on Thursday, breaking away from sliding oil prices, as strong U.S. durable goods data pointed to a recovery in the struggling manufacturing sector.

Orders for U.S. durable goods rose more than expected in January, as demand picked up across the board.

Movements in crude prices have been the biggest influence on stock markets this year as investors see weak energy demand as a sign of sluggish global growth.

Some analysts, however, said the two could soon break step as investors focus on data and the U.S. Federal Reserve's next move on interest rates.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen has hinted at sticking with the plan to raise rates gradually this year, while other policymakers have warned against a hike amid the turmoil in global markets.

"I think we're going to see a stagnant market over the next few days, with volatility picking up between now and next Friday, when the (monthly) jobs report comes out," said Mohanned Aama, managing director at Beam Capital Management in New York.

At 11:25 a.m. ET (1625 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI was up 23.05 points, or 0.14 percent, at 16,508.04, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 1.27 points, or 0.07 percent, at 1,931.07 and the Nasdaq Composite index .IXIC was down 5.72 points, or 0.13 percent, at 4,536.88.

Eight of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.57 percent rise in financials .SPSY. The sector has fallen more than 12 percent this year, easily the worst performer on the index.

Shares of Salesforce (CRM.N) surged 9.2 percent to $68.27 after the company reported higher-than-expected revenue and raised its full-year forecast. The stock gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500.

NetEase (NTES.O) was down 15.3 percent at $135.50 after the Chinese online games maker reported disappointing quarterly sales.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,548 to 1,296. On the Nasdaq, 1,274 issues fell and 1,198 advanced.

The S&P 500 index showed 27 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 21 new lows.

(Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date: Feb 25, 2016 23:15 PM

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