Among earnings, H-P reported earnings that beat expectations, but only after excluding a huge accounting charge related to the acquisition of its Autonomy software unit. Shares plunged sharply to their lowest level in nearly 10 years. At least two brokerages downgraded their rating on the stock. (Watch More: H-P's Whitman 'Regrets' Voting for Autonomy Deal)
Best Buy tumbled after the troubled consumer-electronics retailer posted earnings that badly missed previously-lowered estimates, while revenue was slightly better than expectations.
Campbell Soup declined after the canned soup maker posted lower quarterly earnings, hurt by charges related to its recent acquisition of Bolthouse Farms, but it reaffirmed its full-year forecast.
Salesforce.com is scheduled to post earnings after the closing bell.
Research In Motion climbed after Jefferies raised its rating on the BlackBerry maker to "hold" from "underperform" ahead of the smartphone maker's BlackBerry 10 launch.
News Corp said it will acquire a 49-percent stake in the YES Network, the New York Yankees' regional cable sports channel.
European shares ended in positive territory ahead of the expected euro zone approval of the next aid tranche for Greece.
Meanwhile, ratings agency Moody's Investor Service stripped France of its triple-A credit rating and placed it on negative outlook. Markets saw Moody's move as heightening the risk of other triple-A-rated countries such as Germany and the U.S. being downgraded. (Read More: Risk Is Back—French Downgrade Can't Dent Sentiment)
On the economic front, housing starts gained 3.6 percent to a seasonally-adjusted 894,000, hitting its highest rate in more than four years, according to the Commerce Department. Meanwhile, permits slipped 2.7 percent. Pulte, Toll Brothers and Lennar gained.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
Coming Up This Week:
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage applications, jobless claims, PMI manufacturing index flash, consumer sentiment, leading indicators, oil inventories; Earnings from Deere
THURSDAY: Happy Thanksgiving! - Markets closed
FRIDAY: Black Friday - NYSE closes at 1pm ET / CME closes at 1:15pm ET
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