U.S. stocks pared gains on Thursday after data showed the pace of factory activity in the mid-Atlantic region fell far more than expected in April.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 2.35 points, or 0.02 percent, to 12,455.89. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 3.12 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,333.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 8.36 points, or 0.30 percent, to 2,810.87.

(Editing by Kenneth Barry)