The Dow was under pressure Thursday after Caterpillar's profit missed estimates, but stocks overall were set to close the week in positive territory following a handful of robust earnings and a bailout package for Greece.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average was lower, led by Caterpillar and Verizon , after ending sharply higher in the previous session. McDonald's was among the biggest blue-chip gainers.
The S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq were higher. The CBOE Volatility Index, widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 17.
Despite the mixed market, all three major indices are still poised to close higher for the week.
Among key S&P sectors, techs and energy gained while telecoms slipped.
Caterpillar slumped after the Dow component posted earnings that fell short of estimates, despite reporting revenue that topped expectations and raising its forecast for the year to reflect the acquisition of Bucyrus.
Among other Dow giants, GE reported a robust rise in profit, helped by strong international demand its heavy equipment including jet engines and electric turbines.
Verizon slipped even after the firm topped earnings estimates, boosted by the wireless communication firm's iPhone sale. The wireless communication company also announced that its current COO Lowell McAdam will take over from long-time CEO Ivan Seidenberg, on Aug. 1. Seidenberg will remain chairman.
And McDonald's gained to hit an all-time high, after the fast-food chain posted earnings that exceeded expectations.
Microsoft reported earnings ahead of analyst forecastson Thursday afternoon, helped by sales of its Office software and Xbox game consoles; but profit from its Windows operating system fell on weak PC sales. Meanwhile, Barclays raised its price target on the tech giant to $30 from $28.