US STOCKS-Wall St finishes higher in afternoon rally as oil gains
* Jobless claims lowest in almost 15 years, oil prices rise
* Alibaba shares, Qualcomm shares tumble after results
* Indexes up: Dow 1.31 pct, S&P 0.95 pct, Nasdaq 0.98 pct (Adds Yellen report, Visa share move)
By Sinead Carew
NEW YORK, Jan 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks enjoyed a late afternoon rally and closed higher on Thursday as an upturn in oil prices and a rally in Apple and Boeing shares helped offset some disappointing earnings and lingering questions over U.S. monetary policy.
The S&P 500 had fallen as much as 0.6 percent earlier, led by energy stocks, which reversed direction along with oil.
While the afternoon rise in crude was not huge, it was enough to cheer up the market, said Randy Frederick, managing director at Charles Schwab in Austin.
"Technically the market was a little oversold, so we were in a pretty good position to bounce, so we just needed a little bit of positive news to spark an afternoon rally," he said.
The market has been advancing and retreating within a range of 200 to 300 points for some time as traders grapple with mixed earnings, a strong dollar and weak oil prices as well as interest rate uncertainty, said Dennis Dick, head of markets structure at Bright Trading LLC. Continuación...