×

US stocks shake off oil, Greece to close narrowly mixed

U.S. stocks closed narrowly mixed on Thursday after the S&P 500 touched a new intraday record, amid lower oil prices and Germany's rejection of a Greece loan extension plan.

"I take today away as a positive from the perspective that there was a lot of bad news thrown at the market," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Kingsview Asset Management. "The market's been able to recover from that."

The Nasdaq closed higher for seven days of gains—its strongest winning streak in a year—as Apple stayed near records. Information technology led gains on the S&P 500.

"I think there are a lot of opportunities for tech going forward," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth.

Read MoreTech's March Madness is coming. What to buy

The S&P briefly turned positive in late-morning trade to reach a new intraday high of 2,102.13, initially led by the consumer discretionary sector.

"We had a bit of a hangover from the Fed announcement yesterday," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities, referring to the S&P's brief rise.

The minutes of the January Federal Open Market Committee meeting released Wednesday showed a more dovish tone than most investors expected.

The Dow briefly dipped more than 100 points in the minutes following the open before recovering to close 44 points lower, weighed by a 3 percent decline in Wal-Mart.

Wal-mart reported adjusted earnings that beat estimates and revenue that missed expectations. The retailer will give half a million employees pay raises.

Early morning reports of lower-than-expected jobless claims number and wage increases at Wal-mart were "offset by negative news," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank.

In Europe on Thursday, Germany rejected the new anti-austerity Greek government's application for a six-month extension of its loan and a renegotiation of some its terms. European markets pared gains on the news.

Like other analysts, Ablin said he is "hopeful that this resolution with Greece comes sooner than later."

Read MoreThese hedge funds are betting on a Greek recovery

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that crude oil inventories rose a more-than-expected 7.7 million barrels.

Earlier, oil prices declined on an American Petroleum Institute report that U.S. crude stocks rose by 14.3 million barrels last week.

Crude oil futures settled down 98 cents, at $51.16 a barrel, while brent recovered slightly to trade above $60, still off recent highs of $63 a barrel.

WTI crude oil year-to-date

"With oil going down today I think that's going to be a repeat of yesterday," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital.

Stocks closed mildly lower on Wednesday, as a 2 percent decline in Exxon Mobil weighed on the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500. Only the Nasdaq closed positive.

Symbol
Name
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
---
S&P 500
---
NASDAQ
---

Intuit, Nordstrom and Newmont Mining are all due to report earnings after the bell.

Weekly jobless claims came in less than expected at 283,000. The latest Philly Fed index showed the lowest reading since February last year.

Read MoreEarly movers: TMUS, HRL, XOM, FL, AAPL & more

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 44.0 points, or 0.24 percent, at 17,985.77, with Boeing leading 10 blue chips higher and Wal-Mart the greatest decliner.

The S&P 500 closed down 2.20 points, or 0.10 percent, to 2,097.48, with utilities leading laggards and information technology leading four advancers.

The Nasdaq closed up 18.34 points, or 0.37 percent, to 4,924.70.

The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, traded near 15.

Decliners were a step ahead of advancers on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 661 million and a composite volume of about 3.2 billion in the close, the second lowest volume day this year.

High-frequency trading accounts for about 47.5 percent of trade volume this year, down from a peak of 61 percent in 2009, according to TABB Group estimates.

The U.S. 10-year note traded near 2.11 percent. The U.S. dollar traded flat against major world currencies.

Read MoreSome tech firms winning while oil is falling

Gold futures closed up $7.40 to $1,207.60 an ounce.

CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave contributed to this report.

On tap this week:

Thursday

Lunar New Year

Earnings: Con Edison, Intuit, Marvel Tech., Newmont Mining, Nordstrom

4:30 p.m.: Fed Balance Sheet/Money Supply

Friday

Earnings: Cabot Oil & Gas, Deere

10:00 a.m.: Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations

More From CNBC.com: