Stocks cut gains and the Nasdaq turned negative on Tuesday as investors erred on the side of caution ahead of a statement on the economy from the U.S. Federal Reserve due on Wednesday afternoon.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 76.52 points, or 0.67 percent, to 11,477.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 5.38 points, or 0.45 percent, to 1,209.47. But the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 6.31 points, or 0.24 percent, to 2,606.52.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)