Stocks cut losses and the Nasdaq index turned positive on Wednesday in a highly volatile and heavily traded session in which the technology-heavy Nasdaq had earlier erased its gains for the year.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 47.15 points, or 0.40 percent, to 11,819.47. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 4.03 points, or 0.32 percent, to 1,250.02. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 2.41 points, or 0.09 percent, to 2,671.65.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)