(AP) -- Stocks were modestly higher in morning trading Wednesday, helped by higher energy prices which in turn is pushing energy companies higher.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.2% as of 9:55 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.1%.
Oil prices rose more than 3% as the oil and gas industry continues to sort through the damage caused by hurricane season in the Gulf. Disruptions have been more pronounced than originally expected, and there's been some oil spills from some refineries.
ExxonMobil was up more than 3%, which was helping lift the blue chips more than the rest of the market. Occidental Petroleum was up more than 5% and Marathon Oil was up more than 6%.
Casino stocks were falling following reports of a possible crackdown on the industry by Chinese officials in Macau, the former Portuguese colony and gambling center. MGM Resorts was down 4% and Wynn Resorts was down 8%.
The bond market was quiet, with the 10-year Treasury note trading at 1.29%, slightly higher from the day before.