Updated from 11:45 a.m. EDT with new stock prices
Exchange-traded funds tracking crude oil were the best performers of Wednesday's session, as a bullish inventory report from the Energy Department sent oil prices above the $94-a-barrel level.
Earlier, the Energy Department said oil stocks unexpectedly dropped by 3.9 million barrels last week, compared with expectations of a slight advance. A day after crude dropped 3.4%, the December contract was up today at $94.53 a barrel.
The United States Oil (USO) ETF was rising $3.74, or 5.4%, to $73.28. The iPath S&P GSCI Crude Oil Index (OIL) added $2.70, or 5.2%, to $54.29. The Ultra Oil & Gas ProShares (DIG) was up $4.41, or 4%, to $113.50.Bundled securities following Asian markets were also higher during the current session. Overnight, China's CSI 300 Index advanced 1.7%, and indices in India, South Korea and Japan also finished higher. The iPath MSCI India Index (INP) was recently up $3.81, or 4.3%, to $91.81. The iShares MSCI South Korea Index (EWY) was higher by $2.60, or 3.6%, to $74.85. The SPDR S&P China (GXC) climbed $ 4.04, or 3.7%, to $113.20. On the other hand, several of the HealthShares ETFs were losing ground after Germany-based GPC Biotech released disappointing results of a phase III clinical study for its prostate cancer treatment. Shares were off more than 58% overseas, while Spectrum Pharmaceuticals (SPPI), which licensed the treatment in 2002, dropped 8.5%. The HealthShares Emerging Cancer (HHJ) shed 70 cents, or 3.4%, to $19.86. The HealthShares GI/Gender Health (HHU) was down 85 cents, or 3.4%, to $23.98. The HealthShares Cardiology (HRD) was off 19 cents, or 0.8%, to $23.61. The Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs (IIH) was also losing ground after Deutsche Securities downgraded holding Akamai Technologies (AKAM) to hold from buy. The stock was recently down 1.4%, and the Internet Infrastructure HOLDRs was falling 3 cents, or 0.5%, to $5.75.