Stocks sharply pared losses and the Nasdaq turned positive on Friday, with the financial and consumer discretionary sectors rising, after the S&P 500 hit its 200-day moving average.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 44.91 points, or 0.37 percent, to 12,195.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index fell 2.06 points, or 0.16 percent, to 1,298.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.78 points, or 0.06 percent, to 2,768.03.