US STOCKS-Wall St rebounds after Thursday drop; Google lifts S&P
* GE, IBM shares drop after earnings
* Preliminary July UMich reading misses expectations
* Indexes up: Dow 0.51 pct, S&P 0.65 pct, Nasdaq 1.05 pct (Updates to late morning, updates earnings data)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks rebounded modestly on Friday, after the S&P 500 suffered its worst decline since April 10 a day earlier, with the benchmark index on pace to post a slight gain for the week.
Market participants will keep a close eye on geopolitical tensions, as the United States said Friday it could not rule out that Russia may have assisted separatists in firing a missile that likely downed a Malaysian airliner Thursday at the Ukraine-Russia border, killing nearly 300 people. Investors were also wary as Israel began a Gaza ground campaign on Thursday.
The CBOE Volatility index dropped 14.3 percent to 12.46, after a 32 percent surge to 14.54 in the prior session - its biggest jump since April 2013. The index still remains well below its historical average of around 20.
Google Inc gained 2.9 percent to $597.44 as the biggest boost to the S&P 500 after the world's No.1 Internet search company posted second-quarter results and said its chief business officer would leave the company.
"It seems counter-intuitive given the ruthlessness with which the market sold off yesterday, but in the broader context the markets are generating a lot of attractive themes," said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Clearpool Group in New York. Continuación...