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About an hour's drive south of Kabul, there's a vast Buddhist archaeological site dating back at least 1,500 years. It happens to be sitting on top of one of the biggest untapped copper deposits in the world, potentially worth billions of dollars.

This week on Wall Street, investors experienced thrills, chills, tears and giggles as their investments plunged, soared, dropped, rose, dipped, moved sideways — and then ended about where they started.

On Friday, the Dow Jones industrial average inched down 12 points to 16,643 for the day, ending a bit higher than last Friday's 16,459 close.

So if you just got back from spending a week on a tiny desert island with no smartphone, you might look at the Dow's close and think it was a pretty tame week.

You would be very, very wrong.

A Close Look At The Volatility Index

Aug 28, 2015
Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

After a huge drop in the past couple of weeks, Shanghai stocks rose Friday for the second day in a row.

For many, that's a relief. But China's economy has a long way to go. In fact, it's in the midst of wrenching transition from an economy based on investment and manufacturing to a higher-income one built on services and consumer spending.

The stakes are high — not just for China, but for the rest of the world.

Economic growth is slowing in China in a way it hasn't in a long time.

At Instagram, it's no longer hip to be square

Aug 28, 2015
Sally Herships

Until now, if you wanted to advertise on Instagram, you were kind of boxed in.

"You needed to receive prior approval from Instagram and have rather lofty budgets in order to be appearing on their platform," says Nate Carter, managing director with eEffective, an ad agency trading desk.

Weekly Wrap: The stock market, oil and Janet Yellen

Aug 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal

Joining us to talk about the week's business and economic news are Nela Richardson from Redfin and the Wall Street Journal's Sudeep Reddy. The big topics this week: stock market fluctuations, possible peril in China's economy, a 20-percent jump in oil prices and what is Janet Yellen thinking? 

Marketplace for Friday, August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015

Another step in the evolution of the 21st century employee; the big, bad business of refugee smuggling; and Instagram's outside-the-box strategy.

Refugee smuggling is a big, bad business

Aug 28, 2015
Scott Tong

Europe's refugee and migrant crisis appears to be getting worse by the day. In Austria, a truck found full of decomposed bodies is now believed to have held 71 people, including 12 women and children. The police say they were likely refugees from Syria. And an estimated 150 people drowned off the coast of Libya when a boat enroute to Italy sank.

How fear plays a role in our finances

Aug 28, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Raghu Manavalan

What was your reaction when you first saw the stock market drop earlier this week? Something like this?

Despite all the advice about playing the long game when it comes to the stock market, the first reaction a lot of us have when we see all that red is fear. David Zald is a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt University, and it's his job to figure out what fear is and why it makes us do what we do.

China's growing, but not fast enough for some

Aug 28, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Raghu Manavalan

Though China is about 6,500 miles away from the U.S., uncertainty in the Chinese economy can create big changes in ours. This past week, big drops in the Shanghai Composite stock index created a mini-panic in our own economy.

Clayton Dube, director of USC's US-China Institute, says China's reach goes beyond the United States, too: 

One photographer, 35 years of campaign history

Aug 28, 2015
Kai Ryssdal and Mukta Mohan

Jim Cole has photographed every New Hampshire primary since 1980. He's snapped photos of everyone from George H.W. Bush sticking his head out of an airplane to the Lobsterman who ran for president in 2000. He's back at it this time around for the Associated Press.

On how to get a good shot:

Jack Lew is a fan of both Hamilton and "Hamilton."

Aug 28, 2015
Carrie Barber and Tony Wagner

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Joseph Kim's escape from North Korea

Aug 28, 2015
Lizzie O'Leary and Jenny Ament

Joseph Kim escaped from North Korea, one of the most isolated economies in the world, to the U.S. when he was 15 years old. Kim, now a college student in New York, recently wrote a book about his experience called "Under the Same Sky."

He was interviewed by Marketplace host Lizzie O'Leary. 

PODCAST: Mixed stock market indicators

Aug 28, 2015
David Brancaccio

First: The stock market has been in flux this week, but the overall U.S. economy seems to be doing well. Are the markets actually a solid marker of an economy's health? We take a look at the relationship between the two. Next: World trade has declined, raising the question of whether we've reached peak globalization. Plus: Economist George Chouliarakis has been named Greece's interim finance minister. 

 

NLRB decision pushes 'employee' debate

Aug 28, 2015
Kim Adams

Businesses, labor unions and pretty much everybody in between is still trying to parse out what a big decision by the National Labor Relations Board is going to mean to them.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The Obama administration is considering ways to further ease travel and trade restrictions on Cuba. There is still an embargo in place and it would take an act of Congress to lift that.

The president, however, does have ways to make it easier for Americans to go to Havana or to sell goods there. A lot has changed already since the White House announced its new approach last year.

A New Orleans Business Banks On New Connections

Aug 28, 2015
Noel King and Caitlin Esch

At McMillan's First Steps preschool, there's a big mural painted on the cafeteria wall. A smiling boy is held in the air by a doctor, a pastor and a police officer.

Plus, a guy in a Home Depot uniform.

In another city that might seem weird, but not in a city that is rebuilding. Linda McMillan, who owns First Steps, says the flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina destroyed her campus.

You can't escape the campaign ad

Aug 28, 2015
Kim Adams

The Democratic National Committee met in Minneapolis this week. Among the items on the agenda was a strategy to transform the party’s voter databases into something they can use to target online ads. Republicans are doing something similar, all in an effort to catch voters who spend more time than ever online.

For political campaigns, television ads and robocalls just aren’t enough anymore.

Marketplace Tech for Friday, August 28, 2015

Aug 28, 2015
Marketplace

Airing on Friday, August 28, 2015: On today's show, a North Dakota law that allows police to use drones to deploy non-lethal weapons. Plus, on this week’s edition of Silicon Tally, Ben tries to stump Ian Bogost, professor of media studies and interactive computing at Georgia Tech, on the latest numbers in tech news. 

Gigi Douban

This week in the markets is brought to you by the letter V. That's V for VIX, V for violent swings in the market...

V ... for Volatility.

Now, you may be hoping we'll get a break from volatility after this turbulent week. Well, traders say, fuhgeddaboutit: the way things are in our new economic reality, we're likely to be hearing a lot more of the V word in coming weeks.

After all, they say, volatility is a normal part of any market. So It's hard to predict. But John Sweeney, executive vice president of retirement and investing strategies at Fidelity, has a theory.

Cadillac's one-way drive to New York and new branding

Aug 28, 2015
David Brancaccio

In New York's upscale SoHo neighborhood, workers are banging Cadillacs into shape. The construction site — on a pair of upper floors with magnificent views of the East River on one side and north to the Midtown skyscrapers on the other — is the new world headquarters of a famous brand that has, heretofore, been associated with Detroit. 

Click the above audio player to hear Marketplace Morning Report host David Brancaccio speak with Cadillac CEO Johan de Nysschen about the car company's plans to revamp the brand. 

Boeing is moving to settle a lawsuit accusing it of mishandling its 401(k) plan for thousands of workers. The case is part of a legal assault by a consumer rights attorney to stop companies from offering employees high-cost, bad retirement plans.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

With all the financial turmoil this week, here's a simple sentence that it might be useful to repeat.

Audie?

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The stock market is not the economy.

SHAPIRO: Let's try that together.

Living in a wildfire zone

Aug 27, 2015
Andy Uhler

Hundreds of wildfires are burning in the West. The drought that's dried out the region got the fire season started early, and so far, this is shaping up as one of the worst years ever in the Pacific Northwest.

Marketplace for Thursday, August 27, 2015

Aug 27, 2015

The fundamentals of America's economy in three numbers; China's Ironman; and living in the fire zone.

Digital assistants: If they only had a brain

Aug 27, 2015
Amy Scott

If you’ve ever used Apple's Siri, Microsoft's Cortana or another so-called “virtual assistant” on your smart phone, chances are there has been some cursing involved. That frustration has created a big opportunity for whomever can make a better one. Now Facebook is stepping into the fray on a small scale at first. For a few hundred users in the Bay Area, Facebook’s Messenger app will now come with a feature called M.

Just how strong are those fundamentals?

Aug 27, 2015
Mark Garrison

During this week’s wild ride for stocks, analysts have been telling people not to freak out because, essentially, the stock market is not the economy and vice versa. Kai Ryssdal says that on Marketplace so often that a fan built that phrase into a drinking game. (Which, by the way, is not to be played while driving!)

China's Wanda buys Ironman race series

Aug 27, 2015
Kim Adams

The Ironman triathlon competition has just been swallowed up by the Chinese conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group.

Singing the 'Happy Birthday' blues

Aug 27, 2015
Carrie Barber

$100,000

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