On the economic front, consumer spending slipped in October, falling for the first time in five months, according to the Commerce Department. The decline suggested slower economic growth for the fourth quarter. Economists polled by Reuters expected spending to be flat last month.
Meanwhile, business activity in the Midwest expanded for the first time since August, with the the Institute for Supply Management-Chicago business barometer gaining to 50.4 in November. A reading above 50 indicates expansion in the regional economy.
European shares ended near a 17-month high after Germany's parliament approved new aid measures for Greece, including the reduction of interest Greece pays on loans and the release of bailout funds.
Zynga fell after the online game maker and Facebook revised their two year-old agreement. Facebook will now be able to develop its own games after the end of March, while Zynga no longer has to display Facebook ads or use Facebook payments on its own properties.
For the month, Facebook shares are up more than 30 percent.
Yum Brands tumbled after the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut handed in a 2013 earnings growth guidance that was below expectations, adding that sales in China have softened. Barclays cut its price target to $68 from $72, while UBS downgraded the stock to "neutral" from "buy."
Whole Foods became the latest company to announce a special dividend ahead of expected higher dividend tax rates next year. So far, nearly 100 companies with a market cap greater than $250 million have declared special cash dividends since the beginning of the fourth quarter. The total dollar value of those special dividend is over $20 billion dollars.
Many companies have also moved their dividend payment dates forward to December. Heinz accelerated its quarterly dividend payment to late December from early January.
Apple's latest iPhone has received final clearance from Chinese regulators, paving the way for a December debut in a highly competitive market where the lack of a new model had severely eroded its share of product sales.
Johnson & Johnson announced CEO Alex Gorsky will succeed chairman Bill Weldon when he steps down from his position at the end of next month. The drugmaker had named Gorsky as CEO earlier this year, replacing Weldon.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: ISM manufacturing index, construction spending, Fed's Bullard speaks, auto sales; Earnings from PepBoys
TUESDAY: Earnings from AutoZone, Toll Brothers, Pandora, Mattress Firm
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, ADP employment report, productivity & costs, factory orders, ISM non-mfg index, oil inventories; Earnings from Men's Warehouse
THURSDAY: BoE announcement, Challenger job-cut report, ECB announcement, jobless claims, quarterly services survey, Apple/Samsung hearing; Earnings from H&R Block, Lululemon, Smithfield Foods, Cooper Cos.
FRIDAY: Employment situation, consumer sentiment, consumer credit
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