Stocks were little changed on Wednesday as investors shrugged off concerns about the strength of an economic recovery and an uncertain earnings season.

Alcoa is set to report its quarterly results after the market close, marking the unofficial start for the quarterly reporting period.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 14.81 points, or 0.18 percent, to 8,178.41. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 1.47 points, or 0.17 percent, to 879.56. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 1.00 points, or 0.06 percent, to 1,747.17.

(Editing by Leslie Adler)