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The big price drops on Wall Street in recent days have had many people worried. We asked people on social media to send us some questions about the stock market volatility and we turned to economist Austan Goolsbee for answers.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This is the kind of day when a thesaurus is handy to look up other ways to say volatile. Erratic, unsettled and capricious all work to describe this day in the market.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Here's an experience some of us have had. The phone rings. You pick it up and say "Hello. Hello. Helloooo." But nobody answers.

It turns out there could be someone on the other end of the line: an automated computer system that's calling your number — and tens of thousands of others — to build a list of humans to target for theft.

Build A List

Vijay Balasubramaniyan, CEO of Pindrop Security, a company in Atlanta that detects phone fraud, says that in any number of ways, the criminal ring gets your 10 digits and loads them into an automated system.

On Friday, the Dow plunged more than 530 points and it started Monday, by plummeting 1,000 points. The fear is that China’s economy is slowing, yet Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, is frustrated by the reaction.

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There are many people looking for solutions to complicated social problems. And while people may have ideas, they don't always have the business acumen needed to get started.

"There's a lot of people that have great ideas and want to get them off of the ground, but there is a little bit of a gap in the initial support at the early stage. And that's where we want to focus so that we can help accelerate and scale these organizations to provide broader impact to the community," Marquette social innovation coordinator Kelsey Otero says.

Led by an 8.5 percent drop in China's Shanghai composite index, U.S. and global stock markets took a dive Monday. Shortly after opening, the Dow Jones index fell by more than 1,000 points, or 5 percent. The Dow then zigzagged to close at 15,871, losing about 3.6 percent of its value.

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Every August, Spain's countryside comes alive with fiestas.

A jolly trombone player prances through a crowd of revelers in Cantalejo, a small town about 1 1/2 hours' drive north of Madrid. But the hubbub is deceiving — because hardly anyone actually lives here. People come one week a year to party in the villages of their ancestors. During the other 51 weeks, towns like this are deserted.

Stocks Fall; Dow Down 10 Percent Since May

Aug 22, 2015
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The stock market had its worst one-day crash in four years yesterday. The Dow Industrial Average plunged 531 points, and that was it in just one day. Last week saw a global sell-off that sent markets around the world sharply lower. NPR's Chris Arnold reports.

Wow. That was ugly.

For investors, a brutal week ended Friday with prices plunging for stocks and commodities. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 531 to 16,460, a 3.12 percent drop.

Oil's tumble was especially notable. For a while, West Texas crude was trading below $40 a barrel — the first time that happened since March 2009. It finished at $40.45, marking an eight-week stretch of price declines — the longest losing streak since 1986.

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