Stocks fell Wednesday as investors mulled the slowdown in Europe and earnings from retailers.
Wall Street stock index futures pointed to a higher start to trade on Thursday, ahead of jobs data and major retail earnings.
U.S. Treasurys gained on Wednesday morning, with longer-dated notes rising faster than shorter ones.
European shares closed lower on Wednesday, with investors shunning banking stocks after regulators announced penalties.
WTI crude closed at a three-year low, with prices under pressure from the growing oil glut created by the US shale boom.
Gold fell over 2 percent, nearly wiping out its previous session's rally, but signs of renewed buying interest in US futures could underpin prices.
Britain's pound slouched near recent 14-month lows against the dollar as investors pushed back rate-hike expectations to the fourth quarter of 2015.
Wednesday's trading session saw a mixed picture in Asia, with Tokyo shares stealing the limelight to finish at a 7-year high.
Wall Street looked set for a lower open to trade on Wednesday, ahead of a final burst of earnings for the third quarter.
U.S. stocks ended near highs on Tuesday, with the Dow and S&P each edging up to a record close.
European stocks ended the day in the green on Tuesday afternoon, after fluctuating throughout in the day.
Benchmark Brent crude hit a four-year below $81 low on Tuesday, nearing a test below the psychologically important $80 a barrel mark.
Gold steadied near $1,150 an ounce as demand for physical metal picked up.
The dollar climbed to a seven-year high against the yen as Prime Minister Abe is likely to delay a planned sales tax increase.
Asian equity markets were mixed on Tuesday following a record close on Wall Street, with Japanese markets outperforming the region.
The bond market is closed Tuesday in observance of Veterans Day.
Stocks edged higher on Monday as investors tracked corporate results as the earnings season starts to wind down.
Wall Street looked set to gain on Tuesday, which is set to be a quiet day, with some markets shut for the Veterans Day holiday.
European shares closed higher on Monday, with Carlsberg among the biggest gainers after reporting earnings.
Gold settled lower on Monday as a short-covering rally that boosted prices from 4-1/2-year lows lost steam, with buyers still wary.
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