* Jobless claims stay near 15-year low
* Alibaba jumps on better-than-expected results
* Whole Foods, Kate Spade slumps after results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.4 pct, S&P 0.4 pct, Nasdaq 0.5 pct (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street rose in late morning on Thursday after choppy trading earlier in the session as U.S. jobless claims came in stronger-than-expected and technology stocks rebounded.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose marginally last week, staying near a 15-year low in a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen despite moderate economic growth.
A majority of the 10 S&P 500 sectors were positive. The technology index gained 0.7 percent, on track to close higher for the first time this week.
Microsoft and Apple gave the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, while Yahoo rose 5.3 percent to $43.84 on Alibaba’s strong results.
Alibaba’s shares jumped 7.3 percent to $85.86 as the Chinese e-commerce giant reported a better-than-expected rise in quarterly revenue.
Earlier, a sell-off in bonds and the dollar had led most global markets lower.
The Federal Reserve could raise interest rates at any meeting, including in June, Chicago Fed President Charles Evans told CNBC, leaving investors guessing on when rates would be hiked.
The comments came a day after Fed Chair Janet Yellen said that equity valuations were high, which added pressure to U.S. stocks.
“A lot of the market is really focused on Friday’s payroll report which should give us a good indication if the weak first-quarter data was really due to just weather,” said David Carter, chief investment officer at Lenox Wealth Advisors in New York.
U.S. private employers added far fewer jobs last month than economists expected, posing a downside risk for the more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday.
“We’re in a market where bad news maybe good news,” said Andrew Barber, chief market strategist at Eagleview Capital in Delaware.
At 11:50 a.m. EDT (1550 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 71.07 points, or 0.4 percent, at 17,913.05, the S&P 500 was up 7.27 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,087.42 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 22.71 points, or 0.46 percent, at 4,942.35.
Tesla was down 1.1 percent at $227.89 after it reported a wider quarterly loss and said the strong dollar would crimp gross margins.
Whole Foods slid 9.5 percent to $43.14 and Kate Spade fell 7.4 percent to $30.13 after results.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 1,622 to 1,319, for a 1.23-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,322 issues rose and 1,266 fell for a 1.04-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The benchmark S&P 500 index was posting 5 new 52-week highs and 2 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite was recording 32 new highs and 46 new lows. (Editing by Savio D‘Souza)