Stocks cut gains and the S&P 500 briefly turned negative on Thursday in what looked set to be another low-volume, volatile session as investors sought direction after a five-day snap-back rally for equities.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 27.55 points, or 0.24 percent, to 11,641.08. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 0.76 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,219.65. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 5.00 points, or 0.19 percent, to 2,584.46.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)