UPDATE 1-Cruise cos rise on sector's surge, US-Cuba talks
*Carnival Corp plc sees largest one-day jump in a month
*Royal Caribbean shares up almost 8 percent
(Adds analyst comment, background; updates shares)
NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) - Cruise companies leapt alongside a broad rise in consumer discretionary stocks on Wednesday, partly boosted by news that U.S. and Cuban officials began their first talks on Cuban migration this week.
The milestone talks between U.S. and Cuban officials have raised some hopes for unrestricted travel to Cuban ports, a move that could invigorate the popular Caribbean market. Still analysts caution the development of Cuban ports could take years. [ID:nN14299069]
"It's going to take a while, between one to three years, but when it does it should be very positive for the cruise industry," said Wachovia analyst Tim Condor.
But Condor also stressed that the jump in consumer discretionary stocks was propelling cruise stocks forward. The Standard & Poor's 500 index .GSPD tracking those shares was up more than 2 percent.
Carnival Corp plc CCL.N> (CCL.L) jumped more than 5.7 percent, its highest one-day percentage jump in nearly a month. Royal Caribbean (RCL.N) (RCL.OL) saw its largest one-day increase in about two months.
Shares of Royal Caribbean were up 8.27 percent, or $1.05, at $13.74, while Carnival were up 6.6 percent or $1.53 at $27.02.
Analysts have argued that the opening of Cuban ports would be a boost for the industry and would invigorate the popular Caribbean market.
Still infrastructure issues could post a stumbling block for rapid development, analysts said.
"Cuba is a wonderful destination," Royal Caribbean Chief Executive Richard Fain, said in an interview last month. "It's going to help the industry. It's not going to transform the industry." (Reporting by Deepa Seetharaman, editing by Leslie Gevirtz)
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