The Dow and S&P 500 slipped on Thursday as JPMorgan's earnings and China's soft economic data increased worries about the impact of slower growth on third-quarter profits.

The declines followed three straight days of gains, while the Nasdaq stayed in positive territory, helped by semiconductor shares.

The S&P 500 rose six out of the last seven sessions, and has run up 11.4 percent from an intraday low hit last Tuesday.

The benchmark S&P index has had its largest seven-day gain since March 2009 on growing optimism that European leaders were making progress in tackling the region's debt problems.

JPMorgan Chase & Co , the second-largest U.S. bank, slid 4.8 percent to $31.62 and was the biggest drag on the Dow after reporting a drop in its third-quarter net profit.

It's early, but it seems like after having a series of great corporate earnings in the face of not-such-great macro numbers, now maybe we're seeing a little bit less robust corporate earnings, said Eric Kuby, chief investment officer of North Star Investment Management Corp. in Chicago.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> slipped 12.45 points, or 0.11 percent, to 11,506.40. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> dipped 0.22 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to 1,207.03. But the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 17.81 points, or 0.68 percent, to 2,622.54.

China's trade surplus narrowed for a second straight month in September as both imports and exports were lower than expected, pointing to cooling domestic and global economic demand.

According to a Reuters poll, analysts have reined in their expectations for U.S. economic growth, though it is still expected to pick up a notch by year-end.

Boosting the Nasdaq, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc climbed 8.6 percent to $43.68 after IMS Health said it was revising estimates of the number of prescriptions written in late September for Vertex's hepatitis C drug.

An index of semiconductors <.SOX> gained 2.2 percent.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch; Additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; Editing by Jan Paschal)