Some analysts think the efforts to stem the decline in the markets are hindering recovery.
"We need to see an index falling 7 or 8 percent intraday in high volumes and then ending up nearly flat on the day as the buyers come back in," said Philippe Gijsels, strategist at Fortis in Brussels. "What we're getting instead is Chinese water torture, and no massive cleanout. Governments and central banks are tending to watch stockmarkets and giving investors small glimmers of hope, not enough to take markets higher, but enough to prevent a sell-off."
"We need to see an event that would shock everybody -- a big U.S. bank failure, or a country in Europe going broke," said Mark Bon, fund manager at Canada Life. Bon said positive factors that would need to be in place for any strong rebound included an improvement in consumer or business confidence indicators, some merger and acquisition activity, successful rights issues and a belief among investors that company profits had bottomed out.