U.S. stocks closed slightly higher on Wednesday, amid a sharp rebound in oil prices, while the Dow snapped a seven-day slide.
"Investors are in a wait-and-see mode ahead of the jobs report," said Adam Sarhan, CEO at Sarhan Capital, noting that a strong report could provoke a sell-off, as it raises the possibility of a Federal Reserve rate hike. The jobs report is due Friday morning.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed about 40 points higher. Goldman Sachs and Apple contributed the most gains on the Dow. The S&P 500 ended 0.3 percent, led higher by financials and energy, and the Nasdaq outperformed, rising about 0.4 percent higher as Apple rose 1 percent.
Crude prices were broadly higher Wednesday, with U.S. oil settling 3.3 percent higher at $40.83 a barrel, after the Energy Information Administration said oil inventories rose 1.4 million barrels last week. The EIA also said, however, the number of gasoline barrels fell last week. West Texas Intermediate futures settled below $40 for the first time since April on Tuesday.
"I think people are looking at oil inventories as more of a supply issue, and that's why it's holding up," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth. "Supply can be controlled much more easily than demand."
WTI briefly erased its gains right after the EIA's data release.
"What we need get our arms around is oil," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, noting that Venezuela, Nigeria and Canada have restarted their oil production after a series of disruptions.
On the earnings front, several companies posted quarterly results before the bell, including Time Warner, which beat expectations on the bottom line. Time Warner shares were up more than 2.5 percent in afternoon trade ET.
"Earnings ... have been pretty much as expected, but it's too early to see what the impact of Brexit is going to be," said Maris Ogg, president at Tower Bridge Advisors. "You've had management" not guiding positively.