Stocks pared most of their gains on Wednesday, and the technology-heavy Nasdaq fell, as hopes for new stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve in the weeks ahead vied with signs the economy is weakening.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 3.25 points, or 0.03 percent, to 11,563.20. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dropped 0.24 points, or 0.02 percent, to 1,212.68. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> dropped 14.98 points, or 0.58 percent, to 2,561.13.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy)