The Dow and the S&P 500 indexes were flat to slightly lower on Thursday, threatening to snap a six-session rally for the Dow, after a Wal-Mart Stores Inc forecast sparked concerns about consumer spending.

The Nasdaq gained, however, lifted by Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc after the chip makers said they settled all outstanding legal disputes, including antitrust litigation and patent-licensing issues.

Despite the fact that Wal-Mart tends to give conservative guidance, expectations have risen so much, said Burt White, managing director and chief investment officer at LPL Financial in Boston. Wal-Mart's tepid outlook is weighing on consumer sentiment and making people rethink (about the market rally).

Shares of Intel were up 1.3 percent at $20.10 and Advanced Micro Devices gained 23 percent at $6.55.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> was down 1.52 points, or 0.01 percent, at 10,289.74. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> was down 0.03 points, or 0.00 percent, at 1,098.48. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> was up 4.05 points, or 0.19 percent, at 2,170.95.

Wal-Mart , the world's largest retailer, reported a higher quarterly profit but forecast earnings for the current period that could miss current Wall Street estimates. The stock was up 0.9 percent at $53.48.

Network equipment maker 3Com Corp gained 31.3 percent to $7.47 after Hewlett-Packard Co said on Wednesday it has agreed to buy 3Com for $2.7 billion. Hewlett-Packard shed 0.4 percent to $49.79.

Shares of Brocade Communications Systems Inc fell 11.4 percent to $8.19 after brokerages, including ThinkEquity, downgraded the maker of networking gear, citing concerns about the company's ability to gain market share in the wake of an acquisition deal between Hewlett-Packard and 3Com.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)