US STOCKS-Wall St gains in choppy session as traders juggle mixed messages
* Jobless claims lowest in almost 15 years
* Alibaba shares tumble after results, Yahoo follows
* Indexes up: Dow 1.19 pct, S&P 0.91 pct, Nasdaq 0.91 pct (Updates with market moves, comments)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were up in a volatile session on Thursday, helped by firmer oil prices, even as mixed corporate news and confusion over U.S. monetary policy left investors anxious about which way to turn.
The S&P 500 index was up 0.9 percent in the afternoon after a decline of as much as 0.6 percent earlier in the session and oil futures turned positive on a day when strong job market data contrasted with disappointing reports from Alibaba and Qualcomm.
The market has been advancing and retreating within a range of 200 to 300 points for some time as traders grapple with good and bad earnings reports, a strong dollar and weak oil prices and uncertainty about when U.S. interest rates will rise, said Dennis Dick, head of markets structure at Bright Trading LLC.
"It's technical bounces is what it is. There's a lot technical trading going on," he said. "When the fundamentals are confusing and the macro is confusing, you have to lean on the technicals."
Harman International shares rose 22 percent to $123.52, making it the biggest gainer in the S&P on Thursday after it beat profit and revenue expectations. Continuación...