Stock futures were mixed ahead of Thursday's open on Wall Street, with S&P and Nasdaq futures trading higher, but the Dow struggling as investors remain fixated on tax reform and efforts to keep the government funded.
Lululemon Athletica (LULU.O) gained 8 percent after the Canadian yoga and leisure apparel maker reported a higher-than-expected profit and gave an upbeat holiday season forecast.
General Electric shares were little changed after the industrial conglomerate said it was cutting 12,000 jobs at its global power business.
"It looks as though technology once again is leading the way here, but basically the broader market is still struggling", said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in NY.
US and South Korea Start Largest-Ever Joint Air Force Drills
North Korea's foreign ministry blamed the drills and "confrontational warmongering" by U.S. officials for making war inevitable. Our first look at the video of the fighter jets in formation shows F-22 fighter flying during aerial combat exercises.
However, a gridlock between President Donald Trump and Congress over the passage of spending legislation before Friday has raised fears of partial shut down of the federal government.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.94 points, or 0.1 percent, to 24,115.97.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 45.12 points, or 0.67 percent, at 6,821.50.
The technology sector is building on Wednesday's gains, led by strength in semiconductor stocks.
N. Korea says U.S. threats make war unavoidable
The huge war games follow three intercontinental ballistic missile tests just days before. Both sides insist they don't want war, while saying they will act to defend themselves.
Seven of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the consumer staples index's 0.51 per cent fall leading the decliners.
Up next is the weekly labor market report in which jobless claims are expected to have increased by just 2,000 for the week ended December 2 to 240,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 240,000.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1299 to 1196.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. (STI) Holdings Reduced by Edge Advisors LLC
Advisory Services Network LLC raised its position in shares of SunTrust Banks by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. The average revenue per share growth rate of SunTrust Banks, Inc. during the past 12 months was 8.5 percent.