In Germany, the DAX index was lower by 11.12 points, or 0.30%, to 3,646.99. E.ON was higher after J.P. Morgan raised its earnings estimates for the company. Infineon Technologies rose in reaction to Dell's upbeat outlook.
In Paris, the CAC 40 index lost 9.39 points, or 0.27%, to 3,484.84. Euronext was lower after reporting its second-quarter sales fell 5.1%. Alcatel moved higher in sympathy with Dell's upbeat outlook.
Asian stock markets closed lower. Japan's Nikkei 225 index shed 270.87 points, or 2.46%, to 10,757.2, amid a far worse-than-expected report on growth there. Government data showed gross domestic product between April and June grew 1.7% on an annualized basis, compared with a median forecast by analysts of 4.1% growth.
In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng index lost 53.6 points, or 0.43%, to 12,359.83