Stocks briefly pared gains on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve said the economy was likely to remain weak for a time, but added the pace of economic contraction was slowing.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was up 44.29 points, or 0.53 percent, at 8,365.99. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was up 11.49 points, or 1.28 percent, at 906.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 36.68 points, or 2.08 percent, at 1,801.60.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Jan Paschal)