The Dow Jones industrial average fell nine points to close at 13,973 Thursday.
The Standard & Poor's 500 edged up one point to 1,521. The Nasdaq also rose a point to 3,198.
Gloomy news out of Europe weighed on the market. Germany's economy shrank late last year, deepening a recession across the region.
Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz soared 20 percent after agreeing to be bought by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Whole Foods slumped 10 percent after the grocery chain cut its earnings forecast.
Rising and falling stocks were evenly split on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume was slightly higher than the recent average, 3.7 billion shares.