December 18, 2009 / 3:17 PM / in 8 years

US STOCKS-Tech sector lifts Wall St; oil jumps

* Research in Motion, Oracle gain after strong results

* Crude futures jump 2 pct, energy sector rises

* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct; S&P 0.5 pct; Nasdaq 1.1 pct

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click STXNEWS/US (Updates to morning trading)

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Upbeat results from technology bellwethers Oracle and Research In Motion lifted U.S. stocks on Friday, while rising oil prices boosted energy shares.

Oracle Corp ORCL.O reported a bigger-than-expected increase in new software sales, while BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd RIMM.ORIM.TO gave a strong forecast. For details see [ID:nN17242916] and [ID:nN17171897].

Oracle rose 6.5 percent to $24.36, while RIM's Nasdaq-traded shares jumped 10.5 percent to $70.13.

"The tech results are more evidence the economy is picking up and is on more solid footing as companies are spending on technology," said Giri Cherukuri, head trader at OakBrook Investments LLC in Lisle, Illinois.

RIM rival Palm Inc PALM.O reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss, sending its shares tumbling 13 percent to $10.20. [ID:nN17190567].

The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 38.54 points, or 0.37 percent, to 10,346.80. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index .SPX rose 5.64 points, or 0.51 percent, to 1,101.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC jumped 23.59 points, or 1.08 percent, to 2,203.64.

Oil futures CLc1 extended gains and rose 2 percent to $74.12 per barrel after reports that Iranian soldiers staged several incursions into a disputed Iraqi oil area in the last few days. [ID:nLDE5BH1KZ]

The S&P energy sector .GSPE gained 1 percent, with Chesapeake Energy Corp (CHK.N) up 5.2 percent to $26.32, and Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N) up 2 percent to $79.90.

Friday marks the expiration of December options and futures, a convergence known as quadruple witching that often means increased volatility as big investors adjust or exercise derivatives positions. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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