Stocks were modestly higher in morning trading Wednesday, helped by higher energy prices which in turn pushed energy companies higher. The S&P 500 index was up 0.2%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3% and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.1%. Energy companies rose as the price of oil climbed more than 3% due to production disruptions in the Gulf of Mexico. ExxonMobil rose more than 3%. Casino stocks were lower following reports of a possible crackdown on the gambling industry in the former Portuguese colony of Macau. Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands fell.