* 4-week jobless claims average near 15-year low
* Dollar falls to a near 4-month low
* Tech index biggest gainer, led by Apple’s 1.7 pct rise
* Indexes up: Dow 0.8 pct, S&P 0.7 pct, Nasdaq 0.9 pct (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
May 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as weekly jobless claims fell and the dollar slid to its lowest in nearly four months.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000 last week, while the 4-week jobless average stayed near a 15-year low.
The dollar was at its lowest since January against a basket of currencies of major U.S. trading partners. That’s good news for companies that have large foreign sales as it increases the value of those sales when converted to the U.S. currency.
“A lot of people are looking at the data as non-inflationary, which leads them to believe that the Fed might delay raising rates,” said Jeff Powell, chief investment officer of Polaris Wealth Advisers, in San Francisco, which oversees $600 million.
“It’s basically a question of where else to invest since bond prices are going up.”
The yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries fell slightly to 2.25 percent after closing at a five-month high of 2.28 percent on Wednesday.
The recent jump in yields has made equities look more expensive in comparison to debt, keeping global share markets subdued.
At 11:47 a.m. ET (1547 GMT) the Dow Jones industrial average was up 147.81 points, or 0.82 percent, at 18,208.3, the S&P 500 was up 14.24 points, or 0.68 percent, at 2,112.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 44.78 points, or 0.9 percent, at 5,026.47.
All of the 10 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with the tech index’s 1.2 percent rise leading the way. Apple shares rose 1.7 percent to $128.23, making the stock the biggest driver on both the Nasdaq and S&P 500.
Apple’s quarterly dividend, which many shareholders reinvest, was payable on Thursday.
Lower-than-expected quarterly sales reported by department store operator Kohl’s weighed on the consumer index . Kohl’s shares fell as much as 11.6 percent to a 3-month low of $65.80.
Some cancer drug makers were among the top movers after they released trial data.
Puma Biotechnology plunged 18.7 percent to $170.07 after disappointing trial results for its experimental breast cancer pill.
Vascular Biogenics soared 63 pct to $6.65 and Oncothyreon rose 19.6 pct to $1.77 after their drugs showed promise in trials.
Shake Shack rose 6.3 percent to $72.67 after the hamburger chain reported a surprise adjusted quarterly profit and raised its full-year revenue forecast. The stock debuted in January at a listing price of $21.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by 2,249 to 732, for a 3.07-to-1 ratio on the upside; on the Nasdaq, 1,716 issues rose and 883 fell for a 1.94-to-1 ratio favoring advancers.
The S&P 500 index posted 18 new 52-week highs and 5 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 62 new highs and 22 new lows. (Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)