The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.38 percent, or 95.02 points, to close at 25,241.41 while other major U.S. indexes finished the session lower. The S&P 500 shed 0.07 percent to close at 2,770.37 and the Nasdaq composite declined 0.7 percent to 7,635.07, bringing an end to its four-day winning streak as large-cap technology shares contributed to losses.
Trade developments continued to feature prominently, with U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross telling CNBC that a deal had been reached with Chinese telecommunications equipment maker ZTE, which had been crippled after U.S. companies were blocked from selling to it.
The deal will impose a $1 billion penalty on ZTE, which will also need to install a U.S.-chosen compliance team, but is facing some pushback from U.S. lawmakers.
Also in focus was a sell-off in emerging markets, with Brazil leading declines. The iShares MSCI Brazil ETF (EWZ), a U.S. exchange-traded fund tracking Brazilian stocks, dropped 5.13 percent.
Investors turned to bonds amid concerns over emerging markets, with U.S. government debt prices rising in the last session. The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield declined to 2.92 percent from around 2.97 percent seen on Wednesday.
On the energy front, oil prices advanced as investors worried about a drop in Venezuelan exports. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.88 percent to settle at $65.95 per barrel and Brent crude futures added 2.6 percent to $77.32.