Bed Bath & Beyond Inc shares dropped after the retailer offered weak guidance when it reported quarterly results Wednesday.
Also late Wednesday, Google announced it will sell its Motorola Mobility Home division, which includes cable set-top boxes and modems, to Arris for $2.35 billion. Arris stock rose about 3%, while Google ticked slightly higher.
European markets ended little changed, with the exception of the CAC 40 in France, which rose 0.2%.
Meanwhile, Asian markets ended mixed, with Shanghai and Hong Kong posting gains and the Nikkei retreating after the Bank of Japan announced a widely anticipated extension of its bond-buying program.
The dollar was weaker against most major currencies. Oil and gold prices fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell to 1.77% from 1.8% on Wednesday.