May 14, 2015 / 2:11 PM / 3 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St opens higher as jobless claims fall, dollar weakens

* 4-week jobless claims average near 15-year low

* Dollar index falls to a near 4-month low

* Kohl’s down after results

* Indexes up: Dow 0.6 pct, S&P 0.5 pct, Nasdaq 0.4 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal

May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks opened higher for the first time in four sessions on Thursday as weekly jobless claims fell and the dollar slid to its lowest in nearly four months, offering respite to U.S. multinationals.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000 for the week ended May 9, while the 4-week unemployment average stayed near a 15-year low.

The market also got a boost as the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasury eased from Wednesday’s five-month closing high of 2.28 percent. Analysts, however, expect yields to remain high.

The recent jump in yields has made equities look more expensive in comparison to debt, keeping global share markets subdued.

The weaker dollar is good news for U.S. companies with large sales outside the United States as it increases the value of those sales when converted to the U.S. currency.

At 9:46 a.m. ET (1346 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 114.37 points, or 0.63 percent, at 18,174.86, the S&P 500 was up 9.7 points, or 0.46 percent, at 2,108.18 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 19.62 points, or 0.39 percent, at 5,001.31.

Nine of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the tech index’s 0.9 percent rise leading the way. Apple shares rose 1.2 percent to $127.55.

The consumer index was the sole loser, dragged down by lower-than-expected quarterly sales reported by department store operator Kohl‘s. Its shares fell as much as 10.4 percent to a 3-month low of $66.73.

Puma Biotechnology plunged 17.7 percent to $172.54 after disappointing trial results for its experimental breast cancer pill.

Integrated Silicon Solution rose 7.5 percent to $20.15 after Cypress Semiconductor said it would buy the chipmaker for $19.75 per share in cash. Cypress was up 2.7 percent at $13.

Shake Shack rose 6.9 percent to $73.09 after the hamburger chain reported a surprise adjusted quarterly profit and raised its full-year revenue forecast.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,991 to 716, for a 2.78-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,231 issues rose and 1,016 fell for a 1.21-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.

The S&P 500 index posted 12 new 52-week highs and three new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 40 new highs and 10 new lows. (Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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