The Dow and S&P 500 both eked out marginal gains, while the Nasdaq shed three-tenths of a percent.

Shares of Nvidia - which closed down more than 2.5% - surged 10% after the closing bell after it forecast fiscal first-quarter revenue above estimates on robust demand for its industry-leading artificial intelligence chips.

Nvidia shares have soared nearly 40% this year, making it the biggest gainer on the S&P 500 after a leap of almost 240% in 2023. Analysts had cautioned that its lofty valuation could make the stock vulnerable to a sharp pullback if the company delivered anything short of a blowout report.

George Ball, Chairman of Sanders Morris Harris, thinks such scrutiny is overblown, given the still nascent field of generative AI.

"The Nvidia phenomenon is almost like the Taylor Swift tour. It's attracted a great deal of attention and, really, the logical part of me wonders why. I guess, emotionally, you can say Nvidia is a precursor of what's going to happen in the next 30 years. Right now, what it does in the next 30 or 130 minutes is something that the investor and the speculator are focusing on frenetically, and that's probably foolish."

Among other movers, Palo Alto Networks plunged more than 28% after the cybersecurity firm forecast third-quarter billings below analyst estimates.

And Amazon edged up nearly 1%, with the company set to join the Dow next week, replacing Walgreens Boots Alliance, which saw its shares decline 2.5%.

Meanwhile, minutes from the Federal Reserve's January meeting showed most policymakers were concerned about risks of cutting interest rates too soon, with broad uncertainty about how long borrowing costs should remain at their current level.