Stocks in Japan rose sharply Wednesday, putting a halt to days of selling in Tokyo, but U.S. markets failed to get a lift from the rally.
The Nikkei 225 gained nearly 489 points, or 5.7%, to roughly 9,094. Still, that left the index more than 1,300 points below its closing level March 10, the last trading day before an earthquake and tsunami devastated the country, killing thousands of people and creating a disaster scenario at one of the nation's nuclear power plants.
Asia's other market centers advanced, as well, though the gains weren't as pronounced. The Shanghai Composite added 1.2%, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng tacked on 0.1%. The Straits Times in Singapore was better by 0.9%.
Europe's stock measures were mixed. London and Paris were slipping, but Frankfurt edged up.
Meanwhile, the U.S. appeared set to decline, with futures pointing to a lower open. On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had its fourth loss in five days, losing 138 points to 11,855. Chevron was the only one of the 30 stocks to climb. Boeing and IBM were among the notable decliners.