NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks extended slight gains on Thursday as crude oil topped $60 a barrel, triggering a rally among energy companies.
The S&P 500 was up 0.18%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.03%, and the Nasdaq added 0.34%.
Crude oil added to Wednesday's gains as commodity traders cheered data that showed a further decline in U.S. oil inventories. The Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday a fall of 2.7 million barrels in crude supplies for the week ended May 15. Analysts had expected a drop of 2 million barrels. West Texas Intermediate added 2.3% to $60.31 a barrel.
BP (BP) was more than 1% higher after settling with Halliburton (HAL) and Transocean (RIG) over claims related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Transocean will get $125 million compensation for legal claims, though will have to pay nearly double that into a fund compensating victims of the spill. Transocean gained 4.1% while Halliburton climbed 1.9%.
U.S. manufacturing activity slowed in May, according to Markit's manufacturing purchasing index. The headline reading of 53.8 was down from 54.1 in April, while new orders growth slowed to its slowest pace since January 2014.
"The May flash PMI is consistent with our expectation that the domestic manufacturing sector will continue to face headwinds from the lagged effects of stronger dollar and lower energy prices," said Barclays analyst Jesse Hurwitz in a note.