Wall Street climbed overnight after a better-than-expected report on US durable goods orders bolstered sentiment about the nation's economy, outweighing a fresh decline in energy stocks with oil prices.

A Commerce Department report showed orders for durable goods jumped 4.9 percent in January, after a 4.6 percent drop in December, helping to alleviate concerns about the country's manufacturing industry.

Separately, a Labor Department report showed jobless claims rose 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 272,000 for the week ended February 20. The four-week moving average of claims fell 1,250 to 272,000.

"The manufacturing malaise that plagued the US is not broad-based," Jacob Oubina, senior US economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, told Reuters. "You don't get a recession when capital spending is at worst, moving sideways, and jobless claims are near cycle lows on a trend basis."


In 1.35pm New York trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.3 percent. In 1.20pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index gained 0.2 percent.

"The data on durable goods will help assuage fears that a recession is lurking," Quincy Krosby, a market strategist at Prudential Financial, told Bloomberg. "If we can get some more data releases showing some less bad data or stabilisation it may help push us higher. The market is craving that right now."

Meanwhile, US corporate earnings have so far managed to beat expectations. About three-quarters of S&P 500 firms have exceeded profit projections, while less than half topped sales forecasts, according to Bloomberg. Analysts estimate earnings at S&P 500 companies fell 4.2 percent in the fourth quarter, compared with January 15 predictions for a 7 percent slump.

The Dow rose as gains in shares of United Technologies and those of Nike, last up 4.6 percent and 2.2 percent respectively, outweighed declines in shares of Chevron and those of Exxon Mobil, last down 1.5 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.
Shares of Chevron and those of Exxon Mobil weakened with the price of oil.

Stockpiles at the Cushing, Oklahoma hub for US crude deliveries rose by more than 503,000 barrels to reach above 67.5 million barrels between February 19 and February 24, market intelligence provider Genscape reported, traders who saw the data told Reuters.

"Throwing in a further Cushing build to the overall record in stocks makes it very difficult for this market to rally," Pete Donovan, broker at New York's Liquidity Energy, told Reuters.

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index finished the session with an increase of 2 percent from the previous close on better-than-expected corporate earnings. Germany's DAX Index added 1.8 percent, France's CAC 40 Index gained 2.2 percent, while the UK's FTSE 100 Index rallied 2.5 percent.overnight