Wall Street rose to records as shares of Macy's and Kohl's rallied, while oil prices gained amid fresh Saudi Arabia comments on talks about curbing output.

In 3.04pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 per cent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.5 per cent. In 2.49pm trading, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 0.5 per cent.

Gains in shares of Nike and those of Merck, last up 2.7 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively, led the advance in the Dow.

"Positioning is very light and very cautious," Nadia Grant, a London-based fund manager at Columbia Threadneedle Investments, told Bloomberg. "We have seen jumps in the consumer side in the economic news being corroborated by the retail names that are late in the reporting cycle."

Shares of Macy's soared, up 18.5 per cent as of 2.50pm in New York, after the company said it plans to close about 100 so-called full-line stores, out of a total of 728 Macy's stores, including 675 full-line locations. Most of these stores will close early in 2017, the company said.


"While still maintaining a significant bricks-and-mortar presence in 49 of the top 50 US markets, Macy's will operate fewer stores and concentrate its financial resources and talent on our better-performing locations to elevate their status as preferred shopping destinations," Macy's said in a statement.

Macy's also posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

So did rival Kohl's, whose stock also jumped, up 18.1 percent in afternoon trading,
Oil prices also climbed as Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said OPEC members and nonmembers would discuss the market situation, including any action that may be required to stabilise prices, during an informal meeting on Sept. 26-28 in Algeria, Reuters reported.

"The market is obviously keying off the Saudi comments about the upcoming talks," John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital, a New York hedge fund focused on energy, told Bloomberg. "There's a greater likelihood that they will be able to pull something together this time, with Iran getting a lot closer to its target and the Saudis being more flexible."

As the economy gets closer to its goals, we can again pull our foot off the gas a bit and hopefully execute a nice, soft landing over the next couple of years.


Meanwhile, San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank President John Williams told the Washington Post the central bank should raise interest rates this year.

"We've been adding enormous policy accommodation over the past several years," Williams said. "As the economy gets closer to its goals, we can again pull our foot off the gas a bit and hopefully execute a nice, soft landing over the next couple of years."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the day with a 0.8 per cent gain from the previous close, bolstered by better-than-expected earnings including from Belgium's KBC and Switzerland's Zurich Insurance. The UK's FTSE 100 index rose 0.7 per cent, Germany's DAX index climbed 0.9 per cent, while France's CAC 40 index advanced 1.2 per cent.