NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stocks turned positive ahead of the release of the U.S. jobs report for April on Friday but the trading was choppy as Wall Street considered a selloff among global markets driven by a sharp increase in global bond yields.
The S&P 500 was up 0.22%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.26%, and the Nasdaq climbed 0.34%.
Weekly initial jobless claims in the U.S. rose at a slower-than-expected pace to 265,000 for the week ended May 1. Economists had expected claims for unemployment benefits to rise to 280,000 from 262,000 the week earlier.
The weekly data augers well for the U.S. jobs report for April which will be released on Friday before the bell. Economists expect 225,000 jobs to have been added over the month, far better than 126,000 added in March.
Stocks tumbled on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned of potentially overstretched equity valuations. Yellen said market valuations were "generally quite high," though noted the Fed was not seeing signs of a bubble.
European markets were trading lower as a week-long selloff in government bonds threatened to curb recent progress toward the eurozone's economic recovery.
"There has been a massive repositioning over the last 10 days and it is still ongoing," Philippe Gudin de Vallerin, head of euro research at Barclays in Paris, told Reuters. "From a fundamental point of view the move has certainly been excessive. It is difficult to understand."
U.S. Treasury yields were trading close to recent highs. Yields reached their highest point since early March earlier this week as U.S. Treasuries sold off alongside German, Spanish, Italian and U.K. bonds. The U.S. 10-year Treasury had reached 2.274% earlier in the session, after closing at 2.24% on Wednesday.
Alibaba (BABA) surged 7.2% after reporting fourth-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, 6 cents better than expected. Revenue jumped 44.8% to $2.81 billion and beat forecasts. The company also named Chief Operating Officer Daniel Zhang as its new CEO. Yahoo! (YHOO), which owns a $39 billion stake in Alibaba, climbed nearly 6%.
Tesla Motors (TSLA) fell more than 1% after reporting a quarterly loss of $154 million even as shipments reached a record 10,000 cars. The automaker reported an adjusted loss of 36 cents a share, narrower than expectations for a loss of 50 cents.
Whole Foods (WFM) plunged 13% after missing sales estimates and reporting slightl -disappointing comparable-store sales growth of 3.6% in its second quarter. The supermarket operator also announced plans to launch a lower-cost chain that will stock cheaper products.
Lumber Liquidators (LL) shares were on watch on reports the company will stop selling its Chinese laminate immediately. The company has been under pressure after a 60 Minutes report in March accused it of selling unsafe wood flooring.
Zynga (ZNGA) added 2.3% after reporting a loss of 1 cent a share, beating by a penny. Revenue was up 9.1% year over year to $183.3 million and beat forecasts. Zynga said it would cut 18% of its work force.