May 5, 2016 / 3:27 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-U.S. stocks gain as oil rebounds

* Weekly jobless claims rise more than expected

* Tesla reverses premarket gains, falls 4.5 pct

* Alibaba rises after reporting results

* Kraft Heinz jumps to record high after profit tops est.

* Indexes up: Dow 0.26 pct, S&P 0.20 pct, Nasdaq 0.18 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 5 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow were higher in late morning trading on Thursday as a rise in oil boosted energy shares, but gains on Nasdaq were limited as Tesla dragged.

The electric carmaker’s shares reversed premarket gains to trade down 4.5 percent after analysts expressed doubts about the company’s ability to deliver vehicles ahead of schedule.

Oil prices jumped about 3 percent as a huge wildfire in Canada’s oil sands region and escalating tensions in Libya stoked concerns among investors of a near-term shortage in supply.

Oil majors Exxon and Chevron were both up about 1 percent.

Investors are also keeping an eye on the jobs data for April, due on Friday. Nonfarm payrolls likely rose by 202,000, after rising 215,000 in March, while the unemployment rate is forecast to hold at 5 percent.

A strengthening labor market could influence the pace of future rate hikes. Traders, however, are pricing in only one increase later this year.

An accommodative Federal Reserve and a recovery in oil prices have helped U.S. stocks rebound from sharp losses at the start of the year.

However, the rally lost momentum in the past two weeks, weighed down by underwhelming quarterly earnings and mixed economic data.

“Investors are in a wait-and-see mode till we get some direction from the jobs report,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis.

“Equities appear to be in need of further proof that the economy and earnings will improve in the second half of the year, and I expect the market to trend generally sideways till mid-year.”

At 11:02 a.m. ET (1502 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 45.92 points, or 0.26 percent, at 17,697.18, the S&P 500 was up 4.14 points, or 0.2 percent, at 2,055.26 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 8.32 points, or 0.18 percent, at 4,733.96.

Seven of the 10 major S&P sectors were higher, with the energy index’s 1.36 percent rise leading the gainers.

Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, posting the biggest jump in more than a year, but the underlying trend continued to point to a strengthening labor market.

A number of Federal Reserve heads, including James Bullard of the St. Louis Fed and John Williams of the San Francisco Fed, will present their views on the monetary policy at a central banking conference held at Stanford University later in the day.

Fitbit fell 14 percent to $14.71 after the wearable fitness device maker’s profit forecast for the current quarter fell far short of analysts’ estimates.

Alibaba was up 4.1 percent at $78.92 as China’s biggest e-commerce company said fourth-quarter revenue rose 39 percent.

Kraft Heinz jumped as much as 4.9 percent to a record high of $83.88 after its quarterly profit smashed analysts’ estimates.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,694 to 1,090. On the Nasdaq, 1,345 issues rose and 1,229 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed 18 new 52-week highs and three new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 26 new highs and 37 new lows. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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