European stocks closed mixed, with the German DAX outperforming with mild gains. For the week, the major indexes lost more than 1.5 percent and the STOXX Europe 600 Banks index fell 6.5 percent for the week, its worst since early January.
Asian stocks closed lower, with the Shanghai composite falling 2.8 percent and the Nikkei 225 off 0.25 percent.
The Shanghai composite lost nearly 0.9 percent for its first three-week losing streak since the one ended in mid-January.
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The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 79.92 points, or 0.45 percent, at 17,740.63, with Wal-Mart leading advancers and Merck leading decliners.
The index fell 0.19 percent for the week, with Caterpillar the worst performer and McDonald's the best.
The S&P 500 closed up 6.51 points, or 0.32 percent, at 2,057.14, with utilities leading three sectors lower and materials the top advancer.
The index lost 0.40 percent for the week, with energy the worst performer and consumer staples the best.
The SPDR Banks (KBE) closed higher on the day but fell nearly 3.8 percent for the week, its worst since mid-January.
The Nasdaq composite closed up 19.06 points, or 0.40 percent, at 4,736.16.
The Nasdaq lost 0.82 percent for the week.
The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), widely considered the best gauge of fear in the market, fell below 15.
About two stocks advanced for every decliner on the New York Stock Exchange, with an exchange volume of 955 million and a composite volume of 3.7 billion in the close.
High-frequency trading accounted for 49 percent of May's daily trading volume of about 7.52 billion shares, according to TABB Group. During the peak levels of high-frequency trading in 2009, about 61 percent of 9.8 billion of average daily shares traded were executed by high-frequency traders.
Gold futures for June delivery settled up $21.70 at $1,294.00 an ounce. Gold gained nearly 0.3 percent for the week, its second-straight week of gains.