Japan's Nikkei, which plunged 7% Thursday, finished a rocky trading day with a 0.9% gain.
"In Tokyo we've seen an attempt at a recovery," said Nick Beecroft, senior market analyst at Saxo Capital Markets. "That's a pretty normal profile for market action in a correction such as this."
U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Thursday, after clawing back from declines of nearly 1% earlier in the day.
Shares of Dow component Procter & Gamble (Fortune 500) rose in premarket trading after the company , ousted CEO Bob McDonald and replaced him with his predecessor A.G. Lafley. The company had been under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman to make the move.
Pandora ( jumped more than 12% after the music site reported better-than-expected revenue and a slightly smaller-than-forecast loss after the close Thursday. )
But there were bad quarterly results that sent other stocks sharply lower. Sears Holding (Fortune 500)and , Abercrombie & Fitch ( both plunged more than 10% as the retailers reported larger than expected losses in the most recent quarter. )
Shares in Salesforce.com ( slid nearly 7% as the company offered a weak 2014 outlook. )Gap (Fortune 500) shares also fell on weak guidance. ,
In economic news, new orders for durable goods rose 3.3% in April, following a drop of 5.9% in March, according to the Commerce Department. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had predicted a 1.6% rise.
European markets staged a mild recovery in early trade after falling by roughly 2% Thursday, but by mid-session had turned mixed, with the region's strongest performers of late -- London's FTSE 100 and Germany's DAX 30 -- dropping by about 0.6%.
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