U.S. stocks rebounded strongly in afternoon trading Wednesday, with the major indexes recovering some of the ground lost in Tuesday's global sell-off.
The head of the U.S. central bank, Ben Bernanke, says officials are monitoring the markets closely. But the chairman of the Federal Reserve told a congressional committee the markets seem to be working normally and well.
But in Asia, Japan's Nikkei index was down less than one percent in early trading Thursday. On Wednesday, investors in Asia dumped shares and emerging market bonds after Tuesday's sharp drop in share prices in China sparked a worldwide fall in stock prices.
In afternoon trading Wednesday, major European indexes were down by one percent or more.
Some analysts blame the global sell-off on fears of a possible slowdown in the Chinese and U.S. economies. Others note the markets have recently hit record highs and Tuesday's stock market plunge could indicate a price correction.