Stocks rose on Thursday, underpinned by a rebound in technology shares, while renewed concerns about the economy boosted defensive stocks.

Investors snapped up shares of technology bellwethers a day after the semiconductor index <.SOXX> fell for a fifth straight day. Apple Inc led the Nasdaq higher, climbing 1.8 percent to $121.59, while the semiconductor index gained nearly 2 percent.

Stocks in defensive sectors such as consumer staples and health care also advanced, with Coca-Cola Co up 1.6 percent to $44.34 and Pfizer Inc
adding 0.8 percent to $15.39.

What we've seen the past three days is not that money's leaving the market, but just flowing in that (defensive) direction and trying to find the better deal, said Marc Pado, U.S. market strategist at Cantor Fitzgerald & Co in San Francisco.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 22.86 points, or 0.28 percent, at 8,307.75. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 3.23 points, or 0.37 percent, at 887.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 12.78 points, or 0.77 percent, at 1,676.97.

Data showed the number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose to 637,000 and was more than expected in the latest week, according to government data, pushed up by plant shutdowns related to automaker Chrysler's bankruptcy.

In another report, the Labor Department said prices received by U.S. producers rose at a brisk pace in April, driven by a surge in food costs.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy, additional reporting by Leah Schnurr, editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)