The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked historic stock market volatility in recent weeks, coming on the heels of historic highs.
Maybe you’ve seen the graphs; a steady rise followed by a sharp drop that is now zig-zagging, up and down. That’s what the data looks like. But what might it sound like? Is there a way for us to actually hear how the market has gone from the steady highs of months ago to its current state?
Yes, there is. Thanks to Jordan Wirfs-Brock, an information science Ph.D student at the University of Boulder Colorado. Wirfs-Brock created a 12-second sonification of the stock market from Jan. 2, 2020 to March 27, 2020, where each second represents a week of trading. Using the Dow Jones Industrial Average market data, Wirfs-Brock focused on two metrics: the daily percentage change, to convey volatility and the daily closing price, to convey overall market movement.
Jordan called in from home to give “Marketplace” host Kai Ryssdal a lesson in how to listen. For a more detailed lesson and explanation of the work behind the sonification, check out this Twitter thread
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?