The Dow industrials and the S&P 500 briefly turned negative in choppy trade on Tuesday as investors continued to assess recent attempts in Europe to stave off a wave of sovereign debt defaults.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 15.87 points, or 0.15 percent, to 10,801.01. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> rose 2.19 points, or 0.19 percent, to 1,161.92. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> added 13.42 points, or 0.57 percent, to 2,388.09.

(Reporting by Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)