Stock market today: Wall Street edges higher, led by travel-related companies

NEW YORK — Stocks gained ground in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday, led by big gains in travel-related companies as energy prices drop.

The S&P 500 rose 0.2% and remains on track for a modest gain in a holiday-shortened week ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 76 points, or 0.2% to 35,167 and the Nasdaq rose 0.3% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern.

Crude oil prices sank more than 4% after OPEC said it would postpone its latest conference to next week. The oil cartel has been maintaining a tight market for crude oil with production cuts.

The slump in oil prices weighed heavily on energy companies. The sector stumbled 1.3%. Energy giant Exxon Mobil fell 1.4% and oilfield services company Halliburton fell 2.4%.

The sharp slide for oil prices helped airlines and other companies that stand to benefit from lower fuel costs. United Airlines rose 2.8% and cruise line Carnival rose 2.7%,

Treasury yields were relatively steady. The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 4.43% from 4.40% late Tuesday. The yield on the 2-year Treasury rose to 4.90% from 4.89% late Tuesday.

Stocks in Asia and Europe were mostly mixed and trading was tapering off ahead of holidays in the U.S. and Japan, with few data releases to give markets direction. Markets will be closed in the U.S. on Thursday for Thanksgiving and will close early on Friday.

Wall Street remained relatively quiet ahead of the long holiday weekend in the U.S.

Broadcom fell 0.4% after announcing that it expects to complete its $69 billion deal to acquire VMWare on Wednesday after clearing all regulatory hurdles.

A consumer sentiment survey by the University of Michigan showed that confidence remains strong. Wall Street has been closely watching consumer spending and confidence reports for more clues on the economy’s path ahead.