The Dow and S&P 500 briefly dipped into negative territory in late afternoon trading on Tuesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged a slowdown in the economy, but offered no suggestion the central bank is considering any further monetary stimulus to support growth.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 9.61 points, or 0.08 percent, at 12,099.57. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 1.84 points, or 0.14 percent, at 1,288.01. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 4.54 point, or 0.17 percent, at 2,707.10.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch)