Stocks extended gains on Thursday following a report showing sales of previously owned homes in the United States rose at a faster-than-expected 3.6 percent annual pace in June.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 92.80 points, or 1.04 percent, to 8,974.06. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> shot up 10.98 points, or 1.15 percent, to 965.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 23.85 points, or 1.24 percent, to 1,950.23.

The Dow Jones home construction index <.DJUSHB> was up more than 3 percent following the data.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)