Stocks rose on Wednesday amid numerous signs the recession could be abating and American Express gained on signs that consumers' ability to pay their bills is stabilizing.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 109.44 points, or 1.38 percent, to end unofficially at 8,029.62. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 10.56 points, or 1.25 percent, at 852.06. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 1.08 points, or 0.07 percent, at 1,626.80.

(Reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Jan Paschal)