NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks trimmed gains by mid-morning Wednesday, struggling to remain in positive territory after an earlier bounce.
The S&P 500 gained 0.14%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.07%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.29%.
Crude oil extended a rally after U.S. inventories dropped 2.2 million barrels over the past week, the second straight weekly decline in stockpiles. Economists had expected an increase of 400,000 barrels. The Energy Information Administration's weekly data follows from Tuesday's updated 2015 estimates that U.S. oil demand will increase and production will slow. West Texas Intermediate added 1.1% to $61.44 a barrel on Wednesday.
DuPont (DD) was lower after no Trian Fund Management nominees were elected to the board at DuPont's annual shareholder meeting. Activist investor Nelson Peltz of Trian had tried for a seat, even though the company had previously refused and rejected his demands to split the company into two.
Business inventories in the U.S. in March came in slightly lower than expected, gaining just 0.1% compared to 0.2% growth in the prior month. Economists had expected growth of 0.2%.
U.S. retail sales in April were unchanged, falling below an expected 0.3% increase after 0.9% growth in March. Sales excluding autos rose 0.1%, according to the Commerce Department, though fell short of forecasts for 0.4% growth.
However, optimism in Europe helped to boost sentiment on Wall Street. The four largest economies in the eurozone -- Germany, France, Italy and Spain -- recorded growth in the first quarter, the first time all have been positive since 2010. The overall eurozone economy grew 0.4%, up from 0.3% in the fourth quarter.