NEW YORK, New York - U.S. stocks gyrated on Tuesday, with major indices tumbling more than two percent before regaining some ground.
The U.S. dollar soared while the price of oil fell below $100 a barrel, sparking recession fears. The British pound dived after the ministers for finance and health quit the Boris Johnson government.
The euro hit a two-decade low.
The Dow Jones finished the day with a 129.44 points or 0.42 percent loss at 30,967.82, after being down as much as 700 points earlier.
The Nasdaq Composite gained 194.39 points or 1.75 percent to 11,322.24.
The Standard and Poor's 500 edged up 6.06 points or 0.16 percent to 3,831.39.
In Europe, there was carnage on stock markets on fears of a looming recession. The Dax in Germany tumbled 2.91 percent. The Paris-based CAC 40 lost 2.68 percent. London's FTSE 100 dived 2.86 percent.
Not everyone agrees a recession is in sight. "Recessions are most accurately characterized by a meltdown in employment accompanied by an inability of consumers and businesses to meet their financial obligations. While we are currently experiencing a meaningful slowdown in economic growth from extremely high levels, neither of the above conditions are present today," CNBC reported Credit Suisse strategist Jonathan Golub as saying in a note to clients Tuesday.
The euro shattered to 1.0266 by the New York close Tuesday, a level not seen since 2002. The British pound sank to 1.1890. The Swiss franc eased to 0.9682.
The Australian dollar fell to 0.6798 despite the RBA hiking official interest rates by 0.50 percent to 1.35 percent.
The New Zealand dollar slid to 0.6169. The Japanese yen conversely was slightly higher at 135.82.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 advanced 269.66 points or 1.03 percent to 26,423.47.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 rallied 102.83 points or 0.95 percent to 10,965.17.
South Korea's Kospi Composite rose 41.44 points or 1.80 percent to 6,818.10.
The Australian All Ordinaries climbed 21.20 points or 0.31 percent to 6,818.10.
China's Shanghai Composite was flat, inching down 1.40 points or 0.04 percent to 3,404.03.