The Dow Jones industrial average (DJIA) gained 133 points, or 1.2%, after being down more than 200 points an hour ago. The blue chips were lifted by shares of Kraft (KFT, Fortune 500) and Procter & Gamble (PG, Fortune 500).
The S&P 500 (INX) was up 10 points, or 0.8%; and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP) gained 5 points, or 0.2%.
Stocks got a boost in afternoon trading on reports the European Central Bank had agreed to purchase Italian bonds in exchange for massive budgetary concessions from the Mediterranean country.
Italy was quickly becoming the latest domino to potentially fall in the eurozone, and the concern among investors is that Italy -- the eurozone's third-largest economy -- may be too large to save.
"The crisis in Europe is quickly becoming on par with the financial crisis of 2008," said David Levy, portfolio manager at Kenjol Capital Management.
"The jobs report shows that things aren't getting much worse in the U.S., but the focus is clearly on Europe at this point," Levy said.
Friday's volatility follows the plunge stocks experienced on Thursday, with the Dow tumbling 512 points. It was the steepest point loss since October 2008 -- as fear about the global economy spooked investors.
All three major indexes have erased their gains for the year and now are deep into "correction" territory -- defined as a 10% drop from recent highs.