A sense of calm appeared to settle over the stock market today - one day after the Dow's worst of the year. The Dow was up nearly 90 points near the close Friday.
Gold prices, pushed below $1,300 an ounce Thursday, its lowest level in some two-and-a-half years, also bounced back Friday.
Equity and commodity markets sold-off Wednesday and Thursday on worries the U.S. Federal Reserve could begin winding down its market supportive stimulus program later this year.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, who dissented against the FOMC meeting decision Wednesday, said in a statement Friday the central bank "should have more strongly signaled its willingness to defend its inflation target" and shouldn't have given Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke the authorization to provide an approximate timetable to end easing.
Bernanke's comments are indeed blamed for the stock market's steep two-day drop.
The Dow plunged 354 points, 2.3%, Thursday to close at a seven-week low. Over Wednesday and Thursday, the Dow shed 560 points, the blue chip index's biggest drop since November 2011. The CBOE Market Volatility Index (VIX) soared 23% Thursday, above 20 and a fresh 2013 high.