A popular way to bet on energy stocks on Wednesday was on track to see its best one-day climb in two months, as crude-oil prices jumped following an upbeat U.S. inventory report. The exchange-traded Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF was up 1.6% in recent trade, marking its best daily rise since a 2.2% climb March 15, with U.S. crude-oil prices up 2.8% at $47.15 a barrel in late-morning trade after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration released on Wednesday showed that domestic crude supplies dropped by 5.2 million barrels for the week ended May 5. Markets have been dogged by concerns about oversupply in the oil industry, which has weighed on investor sentiment and caused a steady retreat in oil prices. A 6% climb in shares of Chesapeake Energy Corp. led the exchange-traded fund's components. The S&P 500's energy sector was the best performer among its 11 sectors. Another popular oil fund, United States Oil Fund LP , was on track for its best daily gain since Jan. 11. Stocks paring early losses, with the S&P 500 index trading flat at 2,395. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was being buoyed by blue-chip components Chevron Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. , while the technology-laden Nasdaq Composite Index was trading near break-even. The trading action comes in the wake of President Donald Trump's late-Tuesday firing of Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey, which rattled Washington and has cast some doubt on the president's ability to get market-friendly legislation implemented. Oil's recent climb has helped to mitigate some of that early selling pressure.
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