The S&P energy index.SPNY was up more than 1 percent, led by Anadarko Petroleum's (APC.N) 5 percent gain and an uptick in oil prices.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell as much as 500 points in early trading, bringing the index down 10% from the record high it reached on January 26. The Nasdaq composite fell 9 points, or 0.1 percent, to 7,106.
Read Monday's full edition of The Point. The Dow dropped near 50 percent in both 2008 and 1929 and if that happens this time, we need to start preparing with an individual emergency budget.
Nine of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower, with the industrials index's 0.57 per cent fall in early trade leading the decliners. It's switched between gains and losses several times since then. The fragile rebound lifted the market a bit, and the Dow and S&P 500 are now about 8% off their from all-time highs. Investors who had bet on an extended period of market calm have been the worst affected.
Traders were still bracing for further volatility in the near future, as they tried to determine if the wild swings these past few days were the beginning of a deeper market correction, or just a temporary blip in the USA market's nine-year bull run.
Emerging market stocks rose 0.18 percent.
The bank left interest rates where they were at 0.5% at its meeting, but said a strengthening economy meant interest rates were likely to rise sooner than the markets were expecting. South Korea's Kospi also rose at its opening, and was trading up almost 0.1 percent at 2,455.47 in morning trading.
US 10-year yields US10YT=RR were at 2.789 percent, up from 2.766 percent on Tuesday.
Still, while stocks take a hammering, other financial assets are becoming more attractive to investors.
The market fell steadily as the day wore on and is on track for its fifth loss in the last six days.
In response to that, investors moved to sell out of stocks and put money into assets like bonds which benefit from higher interest rates.
How are global markets reacting?
Despite the turbulence, Tuesday's trading looked similar to the patterns that have shaped the market for the previous year: investors bought companies that do well when economic growth is strongest.
"People were positioned for more central bank easing or continued central bank easing, low rates, and importantly, low volatility", he said. So, quite naturally, the correction has once again got people worrying about whether stocks are in a bubble.
"The markets had blinders on, " said Invesco Chief Global Markets Strategist Kristina Hooper.
It is the second-worst fall in history, eclipsed only by Monday's 1,175-point plunge.
Wholesale gasoline remained at $1.77 a gallon.
The London, Paris and Frankfurt indexes gained between 1.5 and 2 per cent.
The uptick in volatility comes as investors react to the shifting conditions. Gold, for example, was up 0.4 percent at $1,343 an ounce.
Among the biggest losers Tuesday was the Nikkei 225, which had ended 4.7 percent lower. Hong Kong's Hang Seng skidded 5.1 percent and South Korea's Kospi declined 1.5 percent. The index finished at 24,342, down 4.6 percent. The Dow had never lost more than 777 points in a single day.
The dollar edged up to 109.40 yen from 109.33 yen.
Israel carries out missile strike not far from Damascus
And rescue workers and doctors on the ground in Idlib have accused government forces of using chlorine bombs in the offensive. At least 300,000 people have been displaced in Idlib since mid-December, when the most recent regime push on the area began.
Dow Opens Down 521 Points, but Drop Quickly Eases
The fall of 1,175 points to closing exceeds 778 which lost selective at end of September 2008 and 733 in mid-October of that year. Among stocks, Walt Disney was up 2.2 percent in premarket trading after the media company's quarterly profit topped forecasts.