Stocks rose on Friday, sending the S&P 500 index to a 10-month intraday high, as better-than-expected July existing home sales in the United States, following positive economic surveys in Europe, added to optimism the economy was on the mend.

Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said the global economy appears to be recovering after a deep downturn, also supported the view of that the recession was waning.

Sales of previously owned U.S. homes in July notched their fastest pace in nearly two years, an industry survey showed on Friday, the strongest sign yet that housing was pulling out of a three-year slump.

The (housing) data is pretty positive. We got an initial pop off it, and I think it's good for the market all around, said Dan Faretta, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago.

Also lifting stocks, purchasing managers indexes showed the German and French private sectors probably returned to growth in August, a week after data indicated the European heavy-weights pulled out of recession in the second quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 142.23 points, or 1.52 percent, at 9,492.28. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 17.03 points, or 1.69 percent, at 1,024.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 27.82 points, or 1.40 percent, at 2,017.04.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)