U.S. stocks climbed on Monday after data showed the hard-hit manufacturing sector edged closer to growth in July, pushing the S&P 500 above 1,000 for the first time in nine months.

Stocks have been on a tear in recent weeks, advancing on stronger-than-expected earnings and data suggesting the recession may be abating. On Friday, the index wrapped up its best five-month streak since 1938.

Ford Motor Co on Monday reported its first year-over-year monthly sales increase since November 2007, sending its shares up 6.1 percent to $8.49.

Ford's sales are a very encouraging sign for investor psyche, said Rob Stein, managing partner at Astor Asset Management in Chicago. The company is surviving and thriving. I think the sales are the start of a trend.

Earlier on Monday, the Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 48.9 in July, the highest level since August 2008. While the reading was below 50, the level separating contraction from expansion, it was higher than analysts had expected.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 104.90 points, or 1.14 percent, to 9,275.45. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 13.62 points, or 1.38 percent, to 1,001.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> shot up 24.24 points, or 1.23 percent, to 2,002.81.

The S&P 500 is now up nearly 48 percent since hitting a 12-year low on March 9.

Energy stocks were also strong performers, boosted after the ISM data helped lift crude oil up 3.5 percent to $71.87 per barrel.

The S&P Energy index <.GSPE> rose 2.7 percent while Occidental Petroleum Corp climbed 2.2 percent to


Bank of America Corp shares climbed 3.7 percent after it agreed to pay $33 million to settle charges by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the bank made false and misleading statements to investors about bonuses at Merrill Lynch & Co.

It seems like news like that should rock the stock, but its not. That in itself, from how the market is treating it, indicates that the financials are stronger than we think, said Terry Morris, senior equity manager for National Penn Investors Trust Company in Reading, Pennsylvania.

Bank of America also said on Monday it hired Citigroup Inc veteran Sallie Krawcheck and shuffled its top executives, putting some in place to succeed Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis.

Financial stocks rallied after a number of major European banks -- including HSBC and Barclays -- offered encouragement that they could be through the worst of the recession.

Among the Nasdaq's major advancers, Apple Inc's shares rose 1.5 percent to $165.90 and Google Inc gained 1.8 percent to $451.17 after both companies mutually agreed on the need for Google CEO Eric Schmidt to resign from Apple's board.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)