Stocks trimmed earlier losses on Thursday, while the Nasdaq briefly turned positive, helped by a jump in shares of Oracle after the business software maker reported results that beat forecasts.

The financial and health-care sectors weighed on indexes, as investors took profits. Investors were also unsettled by the implications of the Federal Reserve's action to pump another $1 trillion into the financial system, and the possibility of this stirring up inflation in the long term.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was off 44.61 points, or 0.60 percent, to 7,441.97. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> slipped 2.93 points, or 0.37 percent, to 791.42. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> edged down 1.74 points, or 0.12 percent, at 1,489.48. Earlier, the Nasdaq turned positive for a short while and hit a session high at 1,509.06.

(Reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jan Paschal)