US shares opened 200 points lower on Friday, after official figures showed a sharper-than-expected fall in the number of new homes being built.
The Dow Jones industrial average recovered somewhat to trade down 29.07 points or 0.3% at 8,950.19.
European share indexes have fluctuated throughout the day and were trading higher by the early afternoon.
The FTSE 100 was up 4.6%, while Germany's Dax index was up 4% and France's Cac 40 had risen 3.8%.
It comes at the end of a week of rallies and slumps, unseen since the crash of 1987.
Rallies and slumps
Stock markets have been rising and falling all week as investors try to decide how severe the global economic downturn will be.