* Oil prices hit three-week high
* Patheon soars after Thermo Fisher's $5.2 bln deal
* Indexes up: Dow 0.29 pct, S&P 0.24 pct, Nasdaq 0.19 pct
(Updates to open)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 15 U.S. stocks opened higher on Monday as a
rise in oil prices boosted energy stocks, soothing some nerves
following a massive cyber attack that locked up 200,000
computers in more than 150 countries.
Oil hit a three-week high after top exporters Saudi Arabia
and Russia said supply cuts needed to last into 2018, a step
towards extending an OPEC-led deal to support prices for longer
than originally agreed.
Shares of oil majors Exxon and Chevron rose
in early trading.
"On the one hand, this is good news because we are looking
at a situation where we would not have to worry oil production
and its baggage for some time," said Naeem Aslam, chief market
analyst at Think Markets UK Ltd.
"On the negative side, we think that traders are reading too
much into this situation and ... the current production cut has
not been able to produce any substantial results so far."
At 9:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average
was up 60.64 points, or 0.29 percent, at 20,957.25, the
S&P 500 was up 5.95 points, or 0.24 percent, at 2,396.85
and the Nasdaq Composite was up 11.74 points, or 0.19
percent, at 6,132.97.
Ten of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the
energy index's 1.29 percent rise leading the advancers.
Investors seemed to mostly shrug off fears from a successful
missile test by North Korea and a cyberattack that disrupted
operations at car factories, hospitals, shops and schools.
Shares of cybersecurity firms such as Fireye,
Symantec, Palo Alto Networks and Cyberark
Software were all up.
U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, ending the week lower as
tepid economic data weighed on banks and worries deepened over
Soft retail sales and monthly inflation data on Friday
raised concerns about slow economic growth.
The tepid economic data comes on the heels of a strong
quarterly earnings season. Earnings at S&P 500 companies are
expected to have grown 14.5 percent in the first quarter - the
best showing since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The NAHB Housing Market Index for May, is expected to remain
unchanged at 68 from the month before. The data is expected at
10 a.m. ET.
Tesla was down 3.6 percent at $313.30 after Morgan
Stanley downgraded its rating on the electric-car maker's stock.
Patheon NV soared 33 percent to $34.59 after Thermo
Fisher Scientific said it would buy Dutch drug
ingredients maker for about $5.2 billion.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,927
to 597. On the Nasdaq, 1,556 issues rose and 664 fell.
The S&P 500 index showed nine new 52-week highs and four new
lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 44 new highs and nine new lows.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)