What does market volatility mean?

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange at the closing bell.

STEVE CHIOTAKIS: Heidi Moore is Marketplace New York bureau chief and Wall Street reporter. She's with us live from very close to the jungle this morning to help us understand what the heck is going on with all of this. Good morning, Heidi.

HEIDI MOORE: Good morning, Steve.

CHIOTAKIS: Markets are up considerably right now after wild swings throughout the week -- why are people so optimistic at the moment -- right now anyway?

MOORE: I think the operative word you just said is at the moment. So, we've seen all week that that can change on a dime, and I think it's really important to remember that the markets are not a monolith. Everybody in the markets has their own investments, and they're all reacting to different things. If the market is up, consider it a nice coincidence. And if it's down, consider it the same, maybe a less nice coincidence. But, it's not meaningful of where we are as a country or an economy.

CHIOTAKIS: It seems like, Heidi, this whole week there's been shadows of 2008 and people remembering what it felt like when Lehman Bros collapsed? Are those worries founded?

MOORE: I think the post-traumatic stress disorder from Lehman, and that whole year, 2008, is so embedded in the psyche of anyone in finance, it's hard not to immediately call that up when we have any kind of trouble. So, to a certain extent it's justified. So many things seem similar -- we have banks rumors as you've seen in France today. We've seen worries about short-sellers, those that bet against stocks, but essentially, I think we've learned a little more about how to handle something like this. Our banks are a little bit stronger and they've also got a stronger connection to the government, which they didn't in 2008. So, we have a little bit more of a safety net amd understanding of our connections.

CHIOTAKIS: We're going to talk about the French banks in just a moment -- you're talking to people on Wall Street all day today -- how are they all feeling?

MOORE: Well, as usual, as is common over these past few weeks, they're incredibly confused -- they're momentarily delighted that the markets are up --

CHIOTAKIS: -- Oh, just wait, Heidi. Just wait.

MOORE: It's true, it's true. Just wait. And they know that, they know that, it's up and down. And they're watching and they're waiting, and they're trying to get information, and this is another part of the markets that I think people should understand. So much of it is like journalism or investigations. They're trying to understand whether there's any basis to these rumors.

CHIOTAKIS: Marketplace's Heidi Moore in New York. Heidi, thanks.

MOORE: Thank you, Steve.

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