The Nasdaq inched toward a record on the back of high-flying technology trio of Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, while gains in the Dow and the S&P 500 were limited as energy shares fell. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 57.07 points, or 0.72 per cent, to 7,834.71 at the opening bell.
Tesla Inc's (TSLA.O) shares also fell to a two-day low and wiped out all of the gains fuelled by Chief Executive Elon Musk's recent tweet announcing a plan to take the company private. The S&P 500 erased 0.075 point, or 0.03 per cent, to 2,857.70, Xinhua news agency reported.
"There is low volatility in the markets as the S&P and Nasdaq are just below all-time record highs, and it seems like markets are complacent right now".
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX fell 90.47 points, or 0.55 per cent, to 16,326.51, led lower by the health care, consumer staples and utilities sectors. Occidental Petroleum (OXY.N) fell 4.2 percent after it maintained a tepid production forecast for the year.
Crude oil prices failed to make a decisive recovery on Thursday even though the USA sanctions against Iran went into effect on Thursday and the S&P 500 Energy Index closed the day 0.9% lower.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.25 points, or 0.15 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 20.75 points, or 0.28 percent.
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A recent survey revealed Liverpool were the Premier League's unluckiest club last season, with decisions costing them 12 points. We got the Champions League and that was a success, but we can only improve two more places without being champions.
The latest data pointed to strength in the labour market, underscoring the health of the USA economy despite ongoing trade tensions.
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, a Labor Department report showed. Rite Aid fell 11.5 per cent after the drug store chain and USA grocer Albertsons Cos agreed to terminate their merger agreement.
About 5.9 billion shares changed hands on USA exchanges.
Meanwhile, concerns over escalating trade conflict between the USA and China weighed on the trade-sensitive S&P 500 Industrials Index, which ended up losing 0.57% on the day.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.80-to-1 ratio on the NYSE.
Eight of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher.