NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks held onto big gains through Wednesday afternoon after crude oil settled at a 2015 high.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 1.5%, or 262 points, the S&P 500 rose 1.3% and the Nasdaq gained 1.4%.
Crude oil rallied on Wednesday as weekly domestic oil inventories declined 6.8 million barrels over the week ended June 6, according to the Energy Information Administration. Analysts had expected domestic inventories to fall 1.7 million barrels after a 1.9 million-barrel decline a week earlier. West Texas Intermediate crude settled 2.1% higher to $61.43 a barrel.
The energy sector rallied on higher crude prices. NRG Energy (NRG), Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) and Transocean (RIG) topped the S&P 500 while Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM) were among the best performers on the Dow. The Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) jumped 1.4%.
The ECB said Wednesday it had raised the amount the Greek central bank can loan to national banks to 83 billion euros ($94.1 billion), up from a previous limit of 80.7 billion euros. That marks the largest weekly increase since mid-February.
Separately, Germany is reportedly considering offering some debt relief to Greece if it commits to at least one economic reform, sources told Bloomberg. The conciliatory step would allow the debt-ravaged country to repay at least some of its debt due to European creditors on June 30 while further negotiations take place. The National Bank of Greece (NBG) moved higher on the reports.