German and Spanish inflation data and European consumer confidence data due today seem unlikely to pierce the gloom that's enveloped markets in recent days.
Oil's spike to one-year highs has poured fuel on selling in the bond market and further pumped up the dollar, while global stocks have dropped for nine sessions in a row. The greenback stands at a 10-month high against a basket of other majors, and 10-year Treasury yields are hovering at a 16-year peak.
Lawmakers at loggerheads on Capitol Hill have the US just days away from its fourth partial government shutdown in a decade, which could provoke Moody's into a ratings response.
The Republican presidential candidates' debate on Wednesday produced no breakout that could upend a race Donald Trump has dominated for months.
China heads off for a week-long holiday after today, with the yuan squeezed, developer Evergrande's3333.HK shares suspended again, industrial profits tumbling, and a record number of Chinese planning to eschew overseas travel during the break.
Evergrande, the world's most indebted developer with more than $300 billion in total liabilities, is at the centre of an unprecedented liquidity crisis in China's property sector, which accounts for roughly a quarter of the economy.
Stocks in Asia fell on Thursday, with the Nikkei .N225 dragged nearly 2% lower as a number of companies in Japan went ex-dividend. Rising US bond yields have the 2-year US-Japan spread well above 500 bps and dollar/yen inching closer to 150.
There's still no intervention from Japan, although moves in the pair are so tentative that it's clear traders are jittery.
In addition to the day's data, Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments will be a focus for markets when he speaks at 2000 GMT.