NEW YORK, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- U.S. stocks rebounded Thursday, with the S&P 500 closing above the important level of 1,750 points, bolstered by a string of U.S. corporate earnings reports and better-than-expected manufacturing activity in China.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 95.88 points, or 0.62 percent, to 15,509.21 points. The S&P 500 added 5.69 points, or 0. 33 percent, to 1,752.07 points. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose 21. 89 points, or 0.56 percent, to 3,928.96 points.
The market regained momentum on upbeat earnings reports from notable companies after Wednesday's retreat. The S&P 500 snapped a four-day streak of record high finishes on Wednesday amid mixed earnings reports.
Automaker Ford Motors Co. reported encouraging earnings for the third quarter Thursday morning. Ford shares rose 1.37 percent to 17.76 dollars a share.
Shares of 3M Company, formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, advanced 0.24 percent to 123.49 dollars after the Dow component topped market forecasts on its earnings and revenue for the third quarter.
U.S. corporate earnings continued to pour in after the close of trading. Microsoft easily beat market consensus both on quarterly earnings and revenues, while Amazon.com Inc. met Wall Street expectations on earnings in the third quarter and surpassed market estimates on revenues.
The U.S. equity market was also underpinned by a better-than- expected manufacturing activity index in China, with the reading rising to 50.9 in October from 50.2 in September, according to HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI).
As for U.S. economic data, the country's manufacturing sector grew at its weakest pace for a year in October, said Markit, an international market data company. The flash PMI registered 51.1, down from 52.8 in September.
The number of Americans who initially applied for jobless benefits fell 12,000 to 350,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. international trade deficit in goods and services increased to 38.8 billion dollars in August, with exports down and imports virtually unchanged, the Commerce Department said.
"Though several industries are showing glimmers of light, overall imports and exports have stalled, reflecting the slowdown in global demand," FTN Financial economist Jay Morelock said Thursday.
The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered as a fear gauge of the market, decreased 1.64 percent to end at 13.20.
In other markets, light, sweet crude for December delivery increased 25 cents to settle at 97.11 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while European benchmark Brent crude for December delivery lost 81 cents to close at 106.99 dollars a barrel.
Gold futures for December delivery on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange jumped 16.3 dollars to settle at 1, 350.3 dollars per ounce on a weak dollar.
The U.S. dollar was little changed at relatively lows against major currencies Thursday. In late New York trading, the euro edged up to 1.3802 dollars from 1.3780 dollars of the previous session, and the British pound increased to 1.6205 dollars from 1. 6172 dollars.