US stocks staggered back from a rout that took the S&P 500 Index into a correction, though major averages remained lower for the day in afternoon trading yesterday.
The S&P 500 cut a loss that approached 3pc by more than half, but remains on track for the worst month in eight years.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq indexes bore the brunt of selling after Amazon and Google parent Alphabet sank on disappointing results.
The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index shows price swings are the greatest since February.
Investors got a brief reprise after a report showed the US economy expanded at a higher-than-forecast 3.5pc pace last quarter.
“It’s a very treacherous environment because you see these big up days and then they get their heads handed to them,” said Donald Selkin, chief market strategist at Newbridge Securities.
“There’s no consistency. It’s vicious, it’s nerve-racking.”
In Europe, the Stoxx Europe 600 Index continued its retreat, heading for the biggest monthly drop in three years.
Asian shares sank deeper into a bear market earlier. Core European bonds gained as the risk-off mood spread.
Markets remain on edge after more than $6.7trn was lost from global equities’ value since late September, as lofty expectations for earnings were tested amid heightened trade tensions and tightening financial conditions.
Meanwhile, West Texas oil briefly dipped back below $67 a barrel and copper headed to close the week lower.
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