Consumer confidence hits an all-time low and today's Dow reacts by ... hitting the second-highest point gain ever. Analysts contacted by the Associated Press couldn't agree on one particular factor for the jump.

"There is nothing fundamental that came out today or yesterday that would take it up or down. We're all groping for something meaningful to talk about," said Bob Andres, chief investment strategist at Portfolio Management Consultants.

Here's an explanation of what's behind the volatility we've been seeing in the markets, from Marketplace's Ashley Milne-Tyte.

“I think the best compliment I can give is not to say how much your programs have taught me (a ton), but how much Marketplace has motivated me to go out and teach myself.” – Michael in Arlington, VA

As a nonprofit news organization, what matters to us is the same thing that matters to you: being a source for trustworthy, independent news that makes people smarter about business and the economy. So if Marketplace has helped you understand the economy better, make more informed financial decisions or just encouraged you to think differently, we’re asking you to give a little something back.

Become a Marketplace Investor today – in whatever amount is right for you – and keep public service journalism strong. We’re grateful for your support.