The Dow fell slightly on Wednesday over concerns about China's economy and the future of Ukraine, but the Nasdaq ended a four-day losing streak.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the session unofficially 11 points lower. But the S&P 500 was slightly higher and the Nasdaq put on 16 points.
On Tuesday, stocks fell as copper slid to a near four-year low as recent economic reports from China suggest slowing growth, while the nation's first bond default last week had investors questioning the viability of deals using the industrial metal as collateral.
On Wednesday, copper futures for May delivery edged lower.
Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk was visiting the White House later on Wednesday as the Obama administration looks for ways to head off the crisis in the region, just days before a scheduled referendum in Crimea to decide whether it becomes a part of Russia.
The dollar fell against the currencies of major U.S. trading partners, while crude-oil futures fell, along with the 10-year Treasury yield, off 5 basis points to 2.723 percent. Gold gained.