Uneasiness about the major U.S. automaker's bankruptcy wiped out gains of more than 1 percent in the Dow industrials and the S&P 500.
Despite its slight decline, the broad S&P 500 index was on track for its best month in almost a decade. The S&P received substantial support from the results of companies like Dow Chemical Co , up almost 16 percent at $15.67 as the company's earnings handily beat estimates.
Shares of big-cap technology companies bolstered the Nasdaq along with module manufacturer First Solar Inc , whose stock jumped 22.4 percent to $185.80 after the company posted better-than-expected results.
The bankruptcy news today is probably seen by the market as an indication that it's not going to be clear sailing in the weeks ahead, and there are going to be bumps along the road, said Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut.
The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> shed 8.29 points, or 0.10 percent, to 8,177.44. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> edged down 0.49 of a point, or 0.06 percent, to 873.15. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 7.58 points, or 0.44 percent, to 1,719.52.
Chrysler filed for bankruptcy after talks with its lenders broke down. For details see ID:nLU940906.
On the economic front, data showed the number of workers filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, even as the number of people staying on those benefits rose to a fresh record high.
(Additional reporting by Leah Schnurr; Editing by Jan Paschal)