Volatile markets and mixed economic data

A trader works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange during afternoon trading.

Wall Street shed more than 200 points in trading late Friday, marking an end to a volatile week in the markets following a Federal Reserve speech on quantitative easing last week. 

"You can come up with any number of spurious reasons why stocks went down just as you can come up with any number of spurious reasons why it went up," said Reuters' Felix Salmon. "And it's fun, right? We've had a pretty boring stock market as of late, so it's good to get a bit of volatility in there."

This week also brought some good economic data on housing and spending, but The New York Times' Catherine Rampell says the data is mixed.

"Certainly the housing numbers have been very strong, so that's good news," she said. "But we got some bad numbers out of the European Union today...unemployment reached a record high. You have a quarter of young people out of work, looking for work. So maybe that's bumming people out. There are plenty of things to look for with bad news if you're looking hard enough."

For more analysis on the economic data and on Liberty Reserve this week, listen to the full audio.

#Longreads for a lazy weekend

Felix Salmon and Catherine Rampell offer their #longreads picks for this weekend.

Felix chose:

Catherine selected:

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, the most widely heard program on business and the economy in the country.


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