US stocks ended one of their worst months on record, with the Dow losing 14.06%, its worst one-month percentage drop since August 1998.
The S&P 500 lost 16.83%, its worst one-month percentage slide since October 1987.
But US shares rallied on Friday, as investors focused on lower interest rates and improving credit conditions, shaking off weak economic news.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 144.32 points, or 1.57%, to 9,325.01. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 14.66 points, or 1.54% to 968.75. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 22.43 points or 1.32%, to 1,720.95.
Friday's rally resulted in stocks clocking in a higher finish for two sessions in a row - the first consecutive gains in over a month.
European stock markets posted solid gains of 2% or more at the close of trade, supported by the firmer performance on Wall Street.
In London, the FTSE 100 index added 2% to 4,377.34 points, while France's CAC 40 rose 2.33% to 3,487.07 points. Germany's DAX gained 2.44% to end the week at 4,987.97 points.