Episode 264
Aug 25, 2020

The stock market is not the economy, exhibit 3,443.62

Do we have to say it again? The virus is the economy.

The S&P 500 closed at another record high today at 3,443.62. The NASDAQ hit a record high, too. The Dow is well on its way.

But the pandemic keeps taking lives, new unemployment claims rose again and consumer confidence has taken a dive. If you listen to our show, you know we’re fond of saying, “The stock market is not the economy.” Because it isn’t: The wealthiest 10% of Americans now own 87% of stocks and mutual funds in the market.

So what is going on? Why are the stock market and the economy diverging so sharply? To find out, we called up New York Times markets reporter Matt Phillips. He’s been writing about the disconnect and how, for many Americans, the behavior of the market became a popular indicator of overall economic health.

Later, we’ll debate the fracas at Syracuse University and the pros and cons of an astroid hitting our planet. Plus, a bunch of listeners wrote in to tell us what the pandemic isn’t screwing up for them; we’ll share some of their answers.

When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers — this week we’re talking about the 19th Amendment, the NBA bubble and more. Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here.

Here’s a list of everything we talked about today:

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The team

Molly Wood Host
Jody Becker Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sam Anderson Associate Producer

There’s a LOT to celebrate!

It’s National Pumpkin Spice Day, the last day of our fall fundraiser, and thousands of fans like you have invested in Marketplace.

You inspire us, and your support makes us stronger, especially now.