U.S. stocks advanced, after Chinese equities rebounded the most since 2009 and the Greek government faced a deadline for an economic plan to secure a new bailout.
The S&P 500 climbed as much as 1.4 percent today before giving up more than half its gains to trade near its average price during the past 200 days. Apple's 1.9 percent slide weighed on the major indexes.
The Greek government drafted a new proposal it hopes will convince creditors to let the country stay in the euro. The package of economic reforms and spending cuts is due to be submitted by midnight Brussels time. The proposals are set to be discussed by European Union leaders Sunday to determine whether the country will get a new bailout, or be forced to leave the single currency.
In China, stocks halted a rout to post the biggest gain since 2009 amid volatile trading. Regulators banned major stockholders from selling stakes, with more than half the country's listed companies suspended from trading.
Greece's financial crisis and China's equity market turmoil have diverted attention from U.S. economic data and the path of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy, as investors grow concerned about global growth. The S&P 500 is down 3.8 percent since its May record, and 0.4 percent for the year.
The International Monetary Fund today cut its forecast for global growth this year, citing a weaker first quarter in the U.S. and expressed confidence financial-market turbulence from China to Greece won't cause widespread damage.
Minutes of the Federal Reserve's June meeting, released Wednesday, signaled that officials saw improving economic conditions warranting tighter monetary policy, but expressed concerns on the overseas risks.
Investors will get further clues on the Fed's outlook when Chair Janet Yellen speaks on Friday. Fed officials in June forecast they would raise rates twice this year, signaling that September is the most likely month for liftoff, while lowering their outlook for subsequent increases.
Data today showed more Americans than forecast filed for unemployment benefits last week, representing a pause in the pace of labor-market improvement. Applications for benefits have been below 300,000 for 18 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 2000.
Quarterly earnings will become a more prominent focus for investors in the coming weeks, after Alcoa Inc. unofficially kicked off the reporting season yesterday. JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. are among S&P 500 firms reporting results next week. Analysts project earnings for companies on the gauge dropped 6.5 percent in the second-quarter.