US STOCKS-Wall Street rallies after data, HP weighs on Dow
* Global data shows evidence of economic rebound
* Hewlett-Packard weighs on Dow after revenue comments
* Abercrombie tumbles after results, GameStop rallies
* Indexes up: Dow 0.3 pct, S&P 0.6 pct, Nasdaq 0.9 pct
NEW YORK, Aug 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rose on Thursday, with the Dow industrials up for the first time in seven sessions after upbeat data from the world's top economies more than offset lingering uncertainty over the Federal Reserve's stimulus program.
Equities have largely been driven by concerns over when the Fed will begin to reduce its bond-buying policy, which has been credited with fueling the Wall Street's steep gains in 2013.
Trading was volatile Wednesday afternoon as minutes from the central bank's July meeting offered few clues on the timing of any potential stimulus reduction. The S&P 500 closed below its 50-day moving average for a fourth session.
"There were a lot of traders who viewed the Fed saying anything other than 'pedal to the metal' as bearish. I don't think that's right," said Rex Macey, chief investment officer at Wilmington Trust in Atlanta, Georgia. "We've got an improving economy, as seen by the data."
Business surveys showed U.S. manufacturing activity hit a five-month high in August while euro zone growth topped expectations and China's manufacturing sector rebounded, providing evidence that the world economy is on the mend.
Other U.S. data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week but held close to a six-year low, giving a positive signal for hiring during the month.
Bets on a stronger economy helped lift shares of cyclical sectors like energy, materials and industrials , with all three groups up about 1 percent. Financial shares rose 0.8 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up 37.69 points, or 0.25 percent, at 14,935.24. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 9.74 points, or 0.59 percent, at 1,652.54. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 31.36 points, or 0.87 percent, at 3,631.15.
Gains in the Dow, however, were limited by Hewlett-Packard , which dropped 13 percent to $22.15 a day after reporting a decline in Enterprise Group revenue, the company's second-largest division and a critical component of Chief Executive Meg Whitman's plan to transform the company.
Abercrombie & Fitch shares tumbled 18 percent to $38.27 after the apparel retailer on Thursday said quarterly comparable sales fell a larger-than-expected 10 percent.
The stock was the biggest decliner on the S&P 500, followed by HP.
Sears Holdings fell 7.9 percent to $39.83 after it reported a quarter loss that was much bigger than expected.
Retail stocks have come under pressure, hurt by a string of discouraging results and forecasts, including Target and Staples earlier this week. The S&P retail index is down 2.1 percent in August, on track for its worst monthly performance since May 2012.
On the upside, GameStop surged 11 percent to $53, hitting its highest since May 2008 after the world's largest retailer of video game products posted results that topped estimates.