Markets tend to stall before Fed news, as investors aren't sure if a major monetary policy shift is around the corner.
Markets found support from Best Buy and Urban Outfitters, up 13.2 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively, after surprisingly positive quarterly reports.
The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average couldn't find traction and dropped 7.75 points, 0.05 percent, and closed at 15,002.99. The Standard and Poor's 500 added 6.29 points, 0.38 percent, to 1,652.35. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index gained 24.50 points, 0.68 percent, and closed at 3,613.59.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 2,373 stocks advanced and 1,854 declined on volume of 2.9 billion shares traded.
In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 shed 2.63 percent -- 361.75 points -- to 13,396.38. In Europe, the FTSE 100 index in Britain gave up 0.19 percent -- 12.27 points -- to 6,453.46.
The 10-year U.S. treasury note rose 16/32 to yield 2.822 percent.
In after-hours trading, crude oil was off $1.77 to $105.10 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
On the Comex division, gold added $5.20 and closed at $1,370.90 per troy ounce and silver lost 17.5 cents and closed at $23.04.
The euro fell against the dollar to $1.342, while the dollar fell to 97.25 yen.