U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve pointed to signs of strength in the economy in comments that gave some relief to investors worried about debt defaults in Europe.

The session's climb pushed the Dow industrials back above the psychologically important 11,000 mark in a recovery from a swoon just before midday when Standard & Poor's cut Spain's credit rating. On Tuesday, the market sold off following a Standard & Poor's downgrade of Greece's debt rating to junk and a two-notch cut in Portugal's credit rating as well.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> rose 53.28 points, or 0.48 percent, to end unofficially at 11,045.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 7.65 points, or 0.65 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,191.36. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> edged up just 0.26 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to close unofficially at 2,471.73.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jan Paschal)