Stocks rose on Thursday as better-than-expected profits from companies like Dow Chemical Co and a surprise drop in new jobless claims stoked optimism the recession is showing signs of easing.

* Dow Chemical shares jump 17 pct

* Chrysler to file for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

* Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fall

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 106.40 points, or 1.30 percent, to 8,292.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 12.71 points, or 1.45 percent, to 886.35. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> jumped 36.35 points, or 2.12 percent, to 1,748.29.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)