U.S. stocks rallied on Thursday as GDP data showing the U.S. economy returned to growth in the third quarter buoyed hopes of a sustained rebound in corporate profits.

* In its first look at gross domestic product for the third quarter, the Commerce Department said the U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 3.5 percent -- marking quarterly growth for the first time in more than a year and signaling the end of the worst recession in 70 years.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 199.89 points, or 2.05 percent, to close unofficially at 9,962.58. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 23.47 points, or 2.25 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,066.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 37.94 points, or 1.84 percent, to end unofficially at 2,097.55.

(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jan Paschal)