March 11, 2016 / 4:35 PM / 3 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St rallies as oil holds on to gains

* U.S. crude prices up 1 pct

* Ulta Salon up after qtrly sales beat estimates

* Indexes up: Dow 0.99 pct, S&P 1.1 pct, Nasdaq 1.29 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Abhiram Nandakumar

March 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street rallied on Friday as steadying oil drove energy shares, putting the major stock indexes on track for their fourth straight weekly gains in more than four months.

U.S. crude pared some of their gains, but were up more than 1 percent after the International Energy Agency said oil prices might have bottomed as output in the United States and other non-OPEC countries was beginning to fall quickly.

Investors also took a positive view of European Central Bank’s new stimulus package unveiled on Thursday, despite ECB President Mario Draghi signaling an end to further rate cuts.

“There’s an incredible rebound because the chatter on easing became extremely positive after the market closed yesterday and all the global markets are rallying on that,” said Phil Davis, chief executive of PSW Investments.

At 10:57 a.m. ET (1557 GMT), the Dow Jones industrial average was up 168.43 points, or 0.99 percent, at 17,163.56, the S&P 500 was up 21.94 points, or 1.1 percent, at 2,011.51 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 58.34 points, or 1.25 percent, at 4,720.50.

Nine of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.79 percent rise in materials, which is now in positive territory for the year. Shares of Dow Chemical were up 3 percent at $50.60, giving the biggest boost to the sector.

Microsoft’s 1.3 percent rise was the biggest positive influence on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, while Home Depot rose 1.8 percent and propped up the Dow.

The S&P 500 is down 1.5 percent for the year, staging a sharp recovery from a steep selloff at the start of the year that was partly driven by a rout in oil.

Investors now turn their attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve, which is set to meet on March 15-16 to decide on interest rates.

The Fed has said it is on track to raise rates gradually this year, but its decision will hinge on the health of the economy. Recent data has shown the U.S. labor market remains strong, but wage growth remains a concern.

Anadarko rose 6.4 percent to $45.18 after Goldman Sachs raised its rating on the stock to “buy.”

Ulta Salon jumped 16.1 percent to $189.85 after the beauty product retailer’s quarterly sales beat estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 2,516 to 410. On the Nasdaq, 1,966 issues rose and 628 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 33 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and 53 lows. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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