Investors continued to monitor developments in the international effort to keep a deadly new virus outbreak in China from spreading further and potentially hurting the global economy.
Health care stocks, banks and insurers were among the biggest losers.
The S&P 500 index inched up 0.1 per cent to 3,325 after falling as much as 0.6 per cent earlier in the day. The Nasdaq gained 0.2 per cent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.1 per cent, weighed down by a steep drop in shares of Travelers Cos.