The Nasdaq composite index was the brightest spot in US stock markets. It gained 0.4 percent, helped by a $40bn biotechnology acquisition proposal for Mylan.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries made an unsolicited bid to buy smaller rival Mylan, sending the Nasdaq Biotechnology index up 1.8 per cent
But many investors held back as they waited for more quarterly reports and 2015 forecasts.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 85.34 points, or 0.47 percent, to 17,949.59, the S&P 500 lost 3.11 points, or 0.15 per cent, to 2,097.29 and the Nasdaq Composite added 19.50 points, or 0.39 per cent, to 5,014.10 by the close of trade yesterday.