Major US indexes managed to close marginally higher, setting another high for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
Energy stocks fell as the price of crude oil resumed its slide.
The S&P 500 edged up a point to 2,041 and the Dow Jones industrial average rose 13 points, or 0.1%, to 17,647.
The Nasdaq composite bucked the trend, giving up 17 points, or 0.4%, to 4,671.
In Japan, the Nikkei index sank 3% following news that the country unexpectedly slid into recession.
The price of oil fell 18 cents to 75.31 dollars a barrel in New York.