Stocks extended their gains and the Nasdaq rose 1 percent on Thursday as better-than-expected data on home sales and employment lent support to the market a day after equities suffered their worst fall in eight weeks.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 67.10 points, or 0.55 percent, at 12,369.65. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.80 points, or 0.75 percent, at 1,314.69. The Nasdaq Composite Index  was up 31.41 points, or 1.14 percent, at 2,796.20.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Kenneth Barry)