Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Federal Reserve said its business activity index climbed to 10.2 in February, topping expectations from a Reuters poll for 9.5.
And the producer price index posted its largest gain in six months, rising 0.4 percent in January, after increasing 0.3 percent in December.
Earlier, Moody's warned that it may cut the ratings of 17 global and 114 European financial institutions because of more fragile funding conditions and increased regulatory burdens.
Among banks in the U.S., Moody's said it was reviewing the long-term ratings and standalone credit assessments of Bank of America, Citigroup , Goldman Sachs , JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley .
Among earnings, General Motors posted its highest profit ever last year , though the automaker reported its quarterly results fell short of expectations.
J. M. Smucker tumbled to lead the S&P 500 laggards after the jam maker posted results that disappointed and cut its earnings forecast for the year.
NetApp soared after the data storage equipment maker reported earnings and revenue that met expectations. In addition, at least five brokerages boosted their price targets on the firm.
Baidu , Applied Materials and Nordstrom are among companies scheduled to post earnings after-the-bell tonight.
Apple rebounded, edging above the $500/share level. Meanwhile, the tech giant released a new version of its Macintosh operating system that incorporates various features from the software that powers the iPad maker's mobile devices.
Google eked out a gain after the Chinese commerce ministry said it was reviewing the search-engine giant's $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility, as part of routine anti-monopoly checks.
Amazon.com slumped after Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the online retailer to "equal weight" from "overweight."
Groupon climbed after the online daily deal site said it is testing a new program called Groupon VIP for $30 a month, which will include features such as access to past deals and early access to upcoming deals.
Meanwhile, foreclosure rates gained again with one in every 624 U.S. households receiving a foreclosure filing in January, up 3 percent from the previous month, according to RealtyTrac.
—Follow JeeYeon Park on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC —
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