The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index added 5.74 points or 0.15 percent to close at 3,789.38. The Dow, however, dropped 40.39 points or 0.26 percent to 15,636.55. The S&P shed 3.18 points, 0.18 percent, to 1,722.34.
On the New York Stock Exchange, 1,276 stocks advanced and 1,802 declined on a volume of 3.7 billion shares traded.
Economic data released Thursday was mostly positive. The Conference Board said the U.S. leading indicator index rose in August. Existing home sales hit a six and a half year high in August, but gains from July were marginal.
A manufacturing index for the Mid-Atlantic released by the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showed strong gains in September, with the diffusion index at a 30-month high.
Ten-year U.S. treasuries dropped 16/32 to yield 2.752 percent.
The euro fell to $1.3532, while the dollar rose to 99.50 yen.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 index added 260.82 points, 1.8 percent, to 14,766.18.
In Britain, the FTSE 100 index gained 66.57 points, 1.01 percent, to close at 6,625.39.
Gold jumped 4.4 percent to reach $1,365.80 per troy ounce on the Comex division of the NYMEX. Silver added 7 percent to reach $23.075 per ounce.
In late trading, West Texas Intermediate crude oil dropped 1.59 percent, giving up $1.72 to reach $106.31 per barrel.
On the Chicago Board of trade, corn for December delivery added 4 cents to $4.60 1/4 per bushel. Soybeans for November shed 8 3/4 cents to settle at $13.39. Wheat closed at $6.57, up 10 1/2.
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