Dow Jones
US stocks were on track for a second day of gains as oil prices halted their decline Reuters file pic

US stocks moved higher in early trading on Tuesday 12 January as Wall Street eyed a second successive day of gains, with investors keen to put last week's sell-off behind them.

Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.13% to 16,590.01, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were respectively 1.22% and 1.60% higher.

"JPMorgan's wails of 'sell everything on any rally' and RBS's expectations for a cataclysmic 2016 seemingly holding true as investors take that advice," said Michael Van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets.

"[Atlanta Federal Reserve's President] Dennis Lockhart indicated that a March rate hike may now be off the cards, adding to fear in the marketplace, fear stoked by the idea that December's move on interest rates might have been premature. It's obvious, however, that resurgent credit-induced chaos in Chinese markets is driving the latest round of declines worldwide."

Asian markets extended losses, although the Shanghai Composite Index bucked the trend and edged 0.20% higher, while European stocks were firmly in the black by early afternoon.

Elsewhere, the oil prices recouped part of the losses incurred during the first trading week of January, as both Brent crude and West Texas Intermediate climbed over 1.5% and were trading at $32.1 (£22.3,€29.6) and $31.91 a barrel respectively.

A number of economists suggested it is a matter of time before crude prices fall below the $30 (£20) threshold for the first time in 12 years. However, CMC Markets chief economist Michael Hewson insisted it was crucial for the market to retain a degree of composure.

"Calling the bottom in market is always a dangerous practice, akin to catching a falling knife, but when the clamour for lower prices becomes a stampede, warning signs and alarm bells tend to start going off, which suggests that a more prudent approach might be advisable," he said in a note.

On the corporate front, aluminium producer Alcoa was in the red after revealing late on Monday 11 January that its quarterly revenue missed expectations, even though sales topped Wall Street's estimates.

Coca-Cola was on the front foot after the soft drinks giant's rating was upgraded to 'buy' from 'hold' by analysts at Stifel Nicolaus, which forecast improved organic growth for the group.

Intel shares gained ground after analysts JP Morgan said strength in the group's data centre and Internet of Things businesses should are expect to balance a sluggish demands for personal computers.

Throughout the session, investors will analyse a reading on US jobs openings, which is due for release at 10am EST (3pm GMT).