The Dow and S&P 500 rose in a choppy session on Wednesday on hopes that the recession was moderating and Procter & Gamble's stock jumped after it raised its dividend.

But the Nasdaq fell after Intel gave an uncertain revenue forecast, highlighting worries that the earnings season will show the corporate outlook remains murky.

Procter & Gamble
was the Dow's top leader, up 2.7 percent at $48.53 after the maker of Tide laundry detergent and Crest toothpaste raised its quarterly dividend by 10 percent.

American Express also helped the Dow rise, gaining 8.4 percent to $19.98. U.S. credit card defaults rose in March to record highs, as more Americans lost their jobs, but American Express surprised investors with data that suggested cardholders' ability to pay bills could be stabilizing.

Hopes that the economic slump was showing signs of abating were lifted after a report showed manufacturing activity in New York State contracted less severely in April, while the Federal Reserve said the economy continued to weaken but the speed of the contraction was fading.

But Intel Corp lost 3.8 percent to $15.41 after it said there was still too much market and economic turbulence to give a precise projection for second quarter revenue.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 43.41 points, or 0.55 percent, to 7,963.59. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 2.62 points, or 0.31 percent, to 844.12. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 14.14 points, or 0.87 percent, at 1,611.58.

(Editing by Jan Paschal)