U.S. stocks closed mostly higher on Wednesday, recovering from sharp intraday declines as gains in energy offset earlier pressures from growth concerns.( Tweet This )
"We did hold the lower end of that support level range (on the S&P 500)," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "Probably more important is we had oil prices stabilize."
The Nasdaq Composite turned positive, ending mildly higher after earlier falling 1.5 percent.
The S&P 500 turned higher as energy jumped nearly 2 percent to lead sector gains. The index attempted to hold above support levels after breaching them to dip into negative territory for the year. More than half of the stocks in the S&P 500 are trading in correction territory.
The Dow Jones industrial average attempted mild gains after falling as much as 277 points, which followed Tuesday's 212-point loss.
"It's a very interesting reversal. Volume was extremely heavy in the first hour, hour-and-a-half—almost margin call selling in the energy sector. Once that selling ... abated close to 11 o'clock, we also saw some short covering," said Peter Coleman, head trader at Convergex. "The rally was interesting too, it was a slow growth rally."
"The sellers have sold what they had to sell," he said. Barring anything out of China overnight, "I think we've probably put in a short-term low."