The S&P 500 index turned negative on Tuesday, while the Nasdaq added to losses and the Dow industrials pared gains after U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke cautioned that unemployment was likely to remain high into 2011.

* In testimony prepared for his appearance before a Congressional panel, Bernanke warned that mounting joblessness could sap fragile consumer confidence and potentially undermine what is expected in any case to be a very gradual recovery.

* After the benchmark S&P 500 hit a fresh 2009 intraday high of 956.53 shortly after the open, some investors opted to book profits following the market's recent strong run-up.

* The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 26.98 points, or 0.30 percent, to 8,875.13. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 1.73 points, or 0.18 percent, to 949.40. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dipped 12.83 points, or 0.67 percent, to 1,896.46.

(Reporting by Ellis Mnyandu; Editing by Padraic Cassidy)