Defensive shares led a rebound in stocks on Thursday as investors weighed mixed economic signals and the recent volatility in commodities markets for direction.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 66.72 points, or 0.53 percent, at 12,696.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 6.62 points, or 0.49 percent, at 1,348.70. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 17.98 points, or 0.63 percent, at 2,863.04.

(Reporting by Angela Moon, Editing by Kenneth Barry)