Several consumer goods companies said Wednesday that weak demand in Europe is cutting into their revenue. That followed worrisome reports from England, France and Germany about the pace of growth in those countries.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed up seven points at 13,176. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose a fraction to 1,402. The Nasdaq composite index fell five to 3,011.
The Dow had risen 290 points over the previous three trading days. Trading on Wednesday was more tentative as investors absorbed companies' warnings about weakening demand.
Rising and falling stocks were roughly even on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was lighter than average at 3.2 billion shares.