Stocks pared early gains on Thursday, with the Nasdaq falling into negative territory as initial enthusiasm over solid U.S. economic data gave way to euro zone debt worries.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 44.35 points, or 0.38 percent, to 11,867.83. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 3.97 points, or 0.33 percent, to 1,215.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 0.37 points, or 0.01 percent, to 2,538.94.

(Reporting By Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)