NEW YORK Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks advanced on Monday, pushing the benchmark S&P 500 Index .SPX above the psychologically important 1,000 level, as investors welcomed fresh indications that the recession is abating.
* Market sentiment was also underpinned by reassuring bank results from Europe.
* Shares of natural resource companies gained.
* The Dow Jones industrial average .DJI gained 109.13 points, or 1.19 percent, to 9,280.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 13.61 points, or 1.38 percent, to 1,001.09. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC climbed 20.20 points, or 1.02 percent, to 1,998.70.
* The S&P 500's 1,001.78 intraday high marked the index's highest level since November 2008. (Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)