U.S. stocks sharply pared gains and fell toward session lows on Wednesday, with weakness in industrial and financial shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 22.63 points, or 0.19 percent, to 12,249.27. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 3.04 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,331.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 9.27 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,813.62.