The Dow Jones industrial average briefly shed more than 1,000 points after the market open Monday, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq sustaining huge losses as well. But the averages recovered throughout the day, as the Dow gained back about 900 points at its high before trading about 2 percent lower in the afternoon.
It followed broader selling in Asia and Europe as slowing growth in China and emerging markets spooks global investors. The Dow and Nasdaq traded in correction territory, down more than 10 percent from their highs this year.
U.S. officials want China to implement more financial reforms, like moving toward a more market-determined exchange rate for its currency, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said. The Chinese government's intervention throughout a recent stock market runup and selloff have drawn criticism from many market observers.
"They should continue to pursue financial reform to increase exchange rate flexibility and to move rapidly toward a more market-determined exchange rate system," he said.
Earnest downplayed concerns about economic fundamentals, noting that long-term economic trends show strength in the U.S. He contended that it stands on much more solid ground than in 2008 in the wake of the global financial crisis.
Earnest also cautioned against "self-inflicted" wounds like budget squabbles in Congress that could disrupt economic momentum.
—Reuters contributed to this report