Stocks rallied on Monday, sending the Nasdaq up slightly more than 3 percent as reassuring economic data fueled hopes the recession is abating, eclipsing a long-expected bankruptcy filing by General Motors .

* The broad-based advance extended the stock market's recovery from the 12-year low of March 9, with the benchmark S&P 500 now up nearly 40 percent since then.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 219.20 points, or 2.58 percent, at 8,719.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 25.69 points, or 2.80 percent, at 944.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 55.22 points, or 3.11 percent, at 1,829.55.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal)