The inability of finance ministers to reach a deal over Greece has reignited worries about European sovereign debt, but European stocks closed higher Wednesday.
Britain's FTSE 100 and the DAX in Germany edged up 0.1% and France's CAC 40 rose 0.4%. European finance ministers had been expected to agree to release the funds for Greece so it would be able to make its December payments.
In the U.S., new jobless claims totaled 410,000 last week, impacted by storm conditions in the Northeast, but that was down from a week ago and lower than what economists had predicted. The University of Michigan's final version of its consumer sentiment index for November moved higher from a month ago but was worse than expected.
In corporate news, Deere(DE) dipped 4% after the equipment maker released quarterly results. Shares of jewelry maker Zale(ZLC) dropped nearly 30% after the company reported a steep quarterly loss. Publisher Scholastic(SCHL) stock dropped nearly 18% after it lowered its forecasts for next year.
Salesforce.com(CRM)'s stock fared much better, closing up 9%, after the cloud computing company reported earnings that beat forecasts.
Odds not in Hunger Games publisher's favor
YY(YY), the first Chinese IPO since April, jumped 8% in its debut on Nasdaq.
U.S. stocks ended flat Tuesday, amid a sharp sell-off in Hewlett-Packard(HPQ) shares after the company reported a massive loss. HP's shares rose 2% Wednesday.