* Jobless claims stay near 15-year low
* Alibaba jumps on better-than-expected revenue
* Yelp jumps on report it is exploring sale
* Indexes up: Dow 0.7 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.7 pct (Updates to mid-afternoon)
By Noel Randewich
May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks moved higher on Thursday afternoon, helped by a jump in tech stocks and a reversal in surging global interest rates.
Strong quarterly results from Alibaba as well as speculation that consumer review website Yelp.com could be for sale drove technology stocks higher, with the S&P tech index up 0.87 percent.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits held near a 15-year low last week, suggesting positive momentum in the economy, but not so much as to change expectations for a September interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve.
A recent run-up in global interest rates that has worried Wall Street also showed signs of stabilizing, while a rally in oil prices snapped.
“That drastic, draconian move in bonds and violent updraft in oil are settling a little bit and that’s helping us focus on stocks,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
Investors are looking ahead to an April payroll report on Friday that could potentially affect when the Fed raises interest rates for the first time since 2006. Most of Wall Street’s top banks see the Federal Reserve holding off until at least September before raising interest rates, based on Reuters’ most recent poll.
At 2:16 p.m., the Dow Jones industrial average rose 118.85 points, or 0.67 percent, to 17,960.83, the S&P 500 gained 10.47 points, or 0.5 percent, to 2,090.62 and the Nasdaq Composite added 32.38 points, or 0.66 percent, to 4,952.02.
Nine of the 10 S&P 500 sectors were positive, led by the technology index.
Alibaba’s shares jumped 7.9 percent as the Chinese e-commerce giant reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue.
Yahoo, which holds a stake in Alibaba, jumped 5.51 percent.
Yelp soared 18.13 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported that the operator of consumer review website Yelp.com is exploring a sale.
Oil prices fell after touching their highest in 2015 on Wednesday, pushing the energy index down 1.12 percent while lifting airline stocks.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,728 to 1,299, for a 1.33-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,570 issues rose and 1,153 fell for a 1.36-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 6 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 41 new highs and 52 new lows. (Additional reporting by Tanya Agrawal)