Futures for U.S. markets were higher late Wednesday, indicating investors may have another shot at pushing the Dow Jones Industrials index over 20,000 before the end of the week, though a second bond sale Thursday may again tap pocketbooks.
The Dow and Nasdaq added 0.03% at 9:16 p.m. EST while the S&P 500 gained 0.06%.
A $34 billion auction of government notes distracted investors Wednesday, leaving all three major indices lower. A similar, $28 billion auction of seven-year bonds Thursday may also lure capital away from equities, potentially allowing the traditional Santa rally at the end of a trading year to fizzle.
Wednesday the Dow slid 0.56% while the S&P lost 0.84% and Nasdaq 0.89%. The down day on Wall Street followed a mixed day in Europe where Germany's Dax gained 0.02% and the FTSE in London 0.54% while Paris' Cac slid a scant 0.01%.
Asia opened lower Thursday as Toshiba shares cratered following credit downgrades related to troubles at a company its Westinghouse Electric division recently acquired in the U.S. Asian investors were also spooked after South Korea's finance ministry revised its 2017 gross domestic product forecast to 2.6% from 3%.
Japan's Nikkei lost 1.08%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong 0.3%, the ASX in Australia 0.16% and the Kospi in South Korea 0.13% at 9:40 p.m. EST.
Oil also caught the sour mood with a barrel of industry standard Brent crude off 0.21%, to $56.10, and a barrel of West Texas crude off 0.57%, to $53.75, at 9:31 p.m. EST. The prices represent futures for delivery in February.
The dollar was also off 0.14% at 9:35 p.m. EST against a basket of currencies.
In quiet after-hours trade, shares of graphics chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA) - Get Report slid 1.77%, to $107.32, after falling 6.88% in regular trade. Citron Research on Wednesday said it expects the company's share price to slide to $90 as it faces competition in 2017.
The stock has more than tripled so far this year.