Shares of Staples fell even though the office supply retailer posted better-than-expected earnings and sales figures for the fiscal fourth quarter.
Costco topped earnings and sales estimates for the fiscal second quarter, sending the stock higher.
Shares of Liz Claiborne fell despite posting fourth-quarter earnings in line with expectations, and better-than-expected sales.
Currencies and commodities: The dollar rose against the euro, but fell versus the Japanese yen and the British pound.
Oil for April delivery added 52 cents to $107.07 a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $77.10 to $1,711.30 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 1.98%.