With the second-quarter earnings season winding down, 79 percent of S&P 500 companies have topped estimates.
The S&P financial index .SPSY fell 1.4 percent, among the biggest drags on the S&P 500.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting that a strong economy was helping the labor market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose just 1 point as DowDuPont outperformed.
S&P 500 e-minis (ESc1) were up 1.25 points, or 0.04 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis (NQc1) were up 3.25 points, or 0.04 percent.
"We have been in a tug of war between broadly positive economic conditions and the uncertainty of trade risk", said Bill Northey, senior vice president at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Helena, Montana.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower.
However, the healthcare sector got a boost from a 3.6 percent gain in CVS Health and a 2.8 percent rise in Aetna.
Michael Kors gained 7.5 percent after the fashion house topped Wall Street forecasts for quarterly profit and revenue and raised its full-year earnings forecast.
The Nasdaq is up 935.72 points, or 13.6 percent.
Rite Aid fell 10.9 percent after the drug store chain and USA grocer Albertsons Cos agreed to terminate their merger agreement. Beijing announced Wednesday it would counter the most recent round of USA tariffs with its own.
Shares of trade-sensitive companies also declined, including Boeing, 3M and Caterpillar, which were all down at least 1 per cent.
The S&P index recorded 25 new 52-week highs and TWO new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 85 new highs and 51 new lows.
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.15-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.31-to-1 ratio favored advancers.
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