Oil prices prop up Wall Street; Nasdaq hits record high

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U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Nasdaq hitting a record high, helped by higher oil prices. Oil prices rose more than 1.5 percent, rising for the second straight day, supported by an unexpected draw in U.S. gasoline inventories. [O/R]The S&P 500 energy sector . SPNY was up 0.9 percent. The fourth-quarter earnings season has been largely upbeat, with combined earnings of S&P 500 companies estimated to have risen 8.3 percent, the highest in nine quarters. However, Wall Street's reaction to corporate earnings has been muted as investors remain cautious given the recent run-up in the market and policy uncertainty under newly elected President Donald Trump. "Investors are cautiously optimistic about the current environment," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at 50 Parks Investment in Florida. "It's almost like a Goldilocks situation where it's neither too hot, nor too cold."

A report from the Labor Department showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a near 43-year low of 234,000 last week, pointing to tighter labor market conditions. At 9:39 a.m. ET (1439 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average . DJI was up 32.66 points, or 0.16 percent, at 20,087. The S&P 500 . SPX was up 3.94 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,298.61 - just 2 points shy of its all-time high. The Nasdaq Composite . IXIC was up 11.43 points, or 0.2 percent, at 5,693.88, easing slightly from its record high of 5,695.94. Apple (AAPL. O) rose 0.38 percent and was its biggest driver.

Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher. Coca-Cola (KO. N) fell 2.6 percent to $40.96 after the beverage maker forecast a drop in full-year adjusted profit. The stock was the biggest drag on the Dow and the S&P. Twitter (TWTR. N) sank 10 percent after the microblogging website reported its slowest revenue growth since going public in 2013.

Coca-Cola forecasts drop in 2017 profit on refranchising costs Coca-Cola Co forecast a drop in full-year adjusted profit, hurt by higher costs for refranchising its bottling operations in North America.

Fed's Bullard says rates can remain low through 2017 ST. LOUIS U.S. interest rates can likely remain low through at least 2017, with no clear sense yet of whether the new Trump administration's policies will touch off higher inflation or growth, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard said on Thursday.

Thomson Reuters posts higher than expected fourth-quarter profit NEW YORK Thomson Reuters Corp said Thursday its fourth quarter profit rose, reflecting a gain on the sale of a business, and forecast revenue will grow this year at a low single-digit percentage rate.