Wall Street stopped a three-day slide but ended well off the highs on Wednesday as the suggestion of further Federal Reserve stimulus was taken by investors as a mixed blessing.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 44.73 points, or 0.36 percent, to end unofficially at 12,491.61. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 4.08 points, or 0.31 percent, to finish unofficially at 1,317.72. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 15.01 points, or 0.54 percent, to close unofficially at 2,796.92.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Jan Paschal)