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Stocks Edge Higher as Energy, Materials Lead

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks edged higher in choppy trading Wednesday as the energy and basic materials led markets despite declining oil prices.

The S&P 500 was up 0.18%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.17%, and the Nasdaq was flat.

Crude oil lost gains of more than 2% after crude inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels in the past week, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts had expected inventories to rise by 1.75 million barrels. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 1.1% to $47.98 a barrel, though remained near levels seen in late August.

Energy and basic materials stocks led market gains. Among the major oilers, Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) , PetroChina (PTR - Get Report) , Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) and Chevron (CVX - Get Report) moved higher, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) added 0.7%. In the materials sector, Rio Tinto (RIO) , BHP Billiton (BHP) and LyondellBasell (LYB) were sharply higher, while the Materials Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLB) climbed 0.7%.

Pure Storage (PSTG) opened for trading Wednesday below its initial public offering price of $17 a share. Shares were trading...


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