Facebook soared, continuing its post-lockup expiration rally and after the social-networking giant announced an expansion of Facebook Gifts ahead of the holiday shopping season. The company's stock is now up nearly 20 percent since Tuesday. Still, S&P reiterated its "hold" rating on the stock.
Meanwhile, Apple ended higher, rebounding after the iPad maker briefly traded near a nine-month low earlier in the session. Shares are now off 25 percent since hitting an all-time high in late September. (Read More: Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Buy Apple?)
Separately, rival Google is close to releasing a "Maps" app for Apple's iOS6, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Among earnings, Dell slumped after the hardware giant missed earnings expectations and added that challenging macroeconomic conditions could put a pressure on the current quarter. At least 10 brokerages slashed their price target on the company.
Gap rallied after the clothing retailer posted better-than-expected earnings and boosted its profit outlook for the year. Canaccord Genuity raised its rating on the company to "hold" from "sell."
Sears slumped even after the department-store chain posted a narrower-than-expected loss and topped revenue estimates.
UPS slipped after the package delivery service said it is increasing its rates on all UPS Air and U.S. origin international services next year. Rival FedEx also edged lower.
Nike announced it will sell its Cole Haan brand to Apax Partners for $570 million. The transaction is expected to be complete in early 2013.
On the economic front, industrial production unexpectedly declined in October due to Hurricane Sandy, according to the Federal Reserve. The Fed said the storm is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in output by nearly 1 percentage point.
—By CNBC's JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)
On Tap Next Week:
MONDAY: Existing home sales, housing market index; Earnings from Lowe's, Tyson Foods, Urban Outfitters, Jack in the Box
TUESDAY: Housing starts, Richmond Fed's Lacker speaks, Bernanke speaks at the Econ. Club of New York, Kindle Fire HD w/4G LTE ships; Earnings from Hewlett-Packard, Best Buy, Campbell Soup, Chico's, Salesforce.com
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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