A drop in crude oil futures pushed stocks higher Wednesday, helped by government predictions of lower gasoline prices.

Wall Street was encouraged when the price of oil fell below $65 a barrel as more Gulf Coast production facilities resumed operations and traders saw that Katrina's damage to petroleum infrastructure was less than originally feared. A barrel of light crude settled at $64.25, down $1.59, on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Large-cap stocks got a bounce after the Energy Information Administration, a division of the Department of Energy, predicted that retail gasoline prices would fall to $2.58 a gallon in the fourth quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 44.26, or 0.42 percent, to 10,633.50.

Broader stock indicators were slightly higher. The Standard & Poor's 500-stock index rose 2.97, or 0.24 percent, to 1236.36, and the Nasdaq composite index rose 5.17, or 0.24 percent, to 2172.03.

Bonds continued the previous session's sell-off, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rising to 4.14 percent, from 4.09 percent late Tuesday.

The S&P 500 and Nasdaq composite fell in morning trading after the Department of Labor revised second-quarter productivity growth down to a 1.8 percent annual rate instead of the 2.2 percent in a preliminary report.

The Labor Department also reported an increase in labor costs to 2.5 percent from the 1.3 percent in its preliminary report.


Kerr-McGee rose $1.37, to $90.27, after it said its deep-water oil facilities in the central and western Gulf of Mexico are producing at pre-hurricane levels.

Boston Scientific fell $1.95, to $24.26, after it said its third-quarter earnings and revenue will fall short of its expectations.

Albertson's, the nation's second-largest supermarket chain, fell 27 cents, to $23.13, after it said its second-quarter earnings edged up 3 percent from last year. Analysts had expected better.


New York Stock Exchange composite index rose 106.28, to 7625.24.

American Stock Exchange index rose 4.59, to 1690.80.

Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 2.84, to 677.32.


NYSE: 2.05 billion shares, up from 1.93 billion on Tuesday. Advancers outnumbered decliners 9 to 8.

Nasdaq: 1.51 billion shares, up from 1.43 billion. Advancers outnumbered decliners 6 to 5.


Crude oil for October delivery: $64.37, down $1.59.

Gold for current delivery: $444.90 a troy ounce, up from $444.40 on Tuesday.