(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in an Eikon news window)
* Caterpillar, 3M forecasts slam industrial stocks
* Technical buying helps
* Dow down 0.3 pct, S&P down 0.3 pct, Nasdaq down 0.2 pct (Updates prices to afternoon, changes comment)
By Caroline Valetkevitch
NEW YORK, Oct 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks cut their losses late on Tuesday and the Nasdaq briefly turned higher as investors bought back beaten-down shares, though worries about company earnings outlooks kept a lid on the market.
Shares of Caterpillar tumbled after the heavy-duty equipment maker maintained its 2018 earnings forecast, following forecast increases in the previous two quarters. 3M Co slid after cutting its full-year profit outlook.
That reignited worries over the impact of rising borrowing costs, wages and tariffs on corporate profits, and caused S&P industrial stocks to slide. The index was still down 1 percent.
But indexes were well off their lows of the day in late trading, as investors snapped up shares.
"There was a lot of early morning fear, and when the market didn't accelerate further to the downside, you saw some people coming in to pick up some stocks," said Rick Meckler, partner, Cherry Lane Investments, a family investment office in New Vernon, New Jersey.
The day's earnings disappointments aside, he said, technology earnings later this week could be upbeat.
"The companies that disappointed tended to be in the industrial sector, and there are a wide range of companies reporting," he said.
Technical buying at support levels at 2,700 on the S&P 500 also helped stocks to bounce back, analysts said.
At 3:31PM ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 78.75 points, or 0.31 percent, to 25,238.66, the S&P 500 lost 9.46 points, or 0.34 percent, to 2,746.42 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 15.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 7,453.37.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.91-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.40-to-1 ratio favored decliners.
The S&P 500 posted 3 new 52-week highs and 86 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 7 new highs and 373 new lows. (Additional reporting by Amy Caren Daniel and Savio D'Souza in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Bill Berkrot)