Stocks pared gains on Tuesday as Citigroup's sharp drop in profit prompted investors to sell bank shares. The concerns about the financial sector overshadowed earlier optimism about the economy, which had pushed stocks up about 1 percent.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 65.99 points, or 0.53 percent, to 12,488.05. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> gained 5.01 points, or 0.39 percent, to 1,294.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> gained 19.95 points, or 0.74 percent, to 2,730.62.

(Reporting By Edward Krudy; Editing by Jan Paschal)