Best performing large-cap sector was the energy group.
Tesoro was the biggest gainer in the energy sector after CEO Greg Goff said that the refiner is "near the end of the regulatory review process" regarding its planned purchase of BP's Los Angeles refinery.
Kellogg traded lower after the cereal maker reported disappointing first-quarter earnings. The CEO said that the company will focus on recovering margins hurt by rising costs and also a struggling snack business.
Expeditors International of Washington was among the best performers on the Nasdaq 100 Index. The freight-service provider posted first-quarter earnings that rose 4.7 percent as margins benefited from lower operating costs.
(Read More: See CNBC's Market Insider Blog)
—By CNBC's Lori Spechler
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