Marketplace

Weekdays 6:30-7 PM, replay 10:30-11 PM
  • Hosted by Kai Ryssdal

In-depth focus on the latest business news both nationally and internationally, the global economy, and wider events linked to the financial markets. The only national daily business news program originating from the West Coast, Marketplace  is noted for its timely, relevant and accessible coverage of business, economics and personal finance.  

With flu season in full swing, and potentially on track to be the "worst in nearly a decade," it’s important to stay aware of the best ways to keep yourself healthy, especially if a weekend getaway or business trip is coming up on your radar.

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … China’s yuan fell sharply this morning, at one point suffering its biggest decline since it was devalued by the country’s central bank in 2015. We’ll explain what’s pressuring the currency. Then, an interest rate decision and revised inflation forecasts are due out in Britain today. There’s been just one rate rise since the financial crisis of a decade ago … so, with Brexit risks looming on the horizon, what’s on tap from the Bank of England? Afterward, with wild weather swings, are catastrophe bonds a good investment? 

The dot-com URL is still king

Feb 8, 2018

Buying the right domain at the wrong time can cost you. And domain brokers are there to help — and take a cut. Sort of like the web version of a real estate agent, Jen Sale, who runs the company Evergreen, helps people acquire sought-after domain names. But just how important is that coveted dot-com domain name in 2018 when there are so many alternatives?

At the heart of every new business is its name — domain name, in fact. We might be a mobile internet kind of world, but the website is still king, and your URL still matters.  Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks with Jen Sale, a domain broker for Evergreen, which specializes in acquiring and selling premium one-word domain sites, like robot-dot-com.  

Of course, the Senate deal has to be approved by the House and signed by President Donald Trump. But, assuming that happens, we wouldn't have to worry about shutdowns or continuing resolutions until the end of fiscal 2019. So what then would a two-year spending plan mean for the federal government? 

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

Prisons put offenders out of sight, so it’s easy to forget not only that more than 2 million people are locked up in the U.S., but also that they’re still part of the economy. And what happens in prisons touches those of us outside — sometimes even in the food we eat.

Farming used to be a much bigger part of prison labor. But thousands of inmates still grow vegetables or feed crops to sell. In the Montana prison system, they tend cattle. And while producing food products, inmates receive job training and life skills.

02/07/2018: We have a budget deal! (Kind of!)

Feb 7, 2018

As we tape this, one congressional chamber has come to an agreement about how to run the American economy, at least in part. The two-year budget deal would mean we wouldn't have to worry about shutdowns or short-term funding bills until the middle of 2019, but it still has to pass the House and be signed by President Donald Trump. We'll start today's show with the latest. Then: Farming used to be a much bigger part of prison labor, but thousands of this country's more than 2 million inmates still grow vegetables or feed crops for sale on the outside.

What will it take to change Silicon Valley's bro culture?

Feb 7, 2018

From the Playboy centerfold used to test photo-sharing technology to afternoon work meetings held at strip clubs, Silicon Valley has never been a place that welcomed women, says Emily Chang, host of Bloomberg Technology and author of "Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys' Club of Silicon Valley." Chang details how the technology industry became so unfriendly to women, the daily harassment some female engineers face at work and how tech

Who is to blame for the recent market volatility?

Feb 7, 2018

When the recent stock market calm turned into a storm, investors started looking for someone to hold responsible. Some analysts and investors have blamed the VIX Index, a measure of the stock market's expectations of near-term volatility published by the Chicago Board Options Exchange, for increasing the recent fluctuation in the stock market. The VIX Index is used as a reference point for futures and options products by fund managers.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders announced Wednesday they have sealed agreement on a two-year budget pact that would shower the Pentagon and domestic programs with almost $300 billion above existing limits, giving wins to both GOP defense hawks and Democrats seeking billions for infrastructure projects and combatting opioid abuse.

02/07/2018: The VIX — an instrument of mayhem?

Feb 7, 2018

(Markets Edition) Who's to blame for all of this recent financial turbulence? Some are pointing fingers at the VIX Index, which measures volatility. We'll look at some of the frustration directed toward it. Afterwards, we'll discuss the success of Tesla's ambitious Falcon Heavy launch, and some of the competition Elon Musk will have to face.

(U.S. Edition) With the market fluctuations we've been seeing this past week, does this bode badly for business decisions like hiring? While no one really knows, many analysts agree that economic fundamentals haven't really been driving this volatility. We'll break down some of the underlying causes. Afterwards, we'll discuss why traders are actually fans of all these swings, and then look at why safe-haven currencies might not be the safe haven they used to be for investors at a time like this. 

The last few days have seen big swings in the global stock markets. During such volatile times, investors often shift their assets to what are called safe-haven currencies, traditionally the Japanese yen or Swiss franc. Why does that happen, and is now a good moment for safe havens?

Click the audio player above to hear the full story. 

(Global Edition) From the BBC World Service … Four months after elections, Germany’s two biggest political parties have finally made a deal to form a coalition government. What will it mean for long time Chancellor Angela Merkel? Then, there are calmer waters in the global stock market after a turbulent few days – but will more volatility resurface later this year as central banks continue to move to more normal monetary policy? Afterwards, Stockholm, Sweden, is poised to implement a ban on racist or sexist advertising in public spaces.

Is Apple still the one to beat when it comes to smart devices?

Feb 7, 2018

Apple makes bundles of money, and it's sitting on a country's worth of cash. But iPhone growth is slowing, and Apple’s new smart speaker is late to the scene. It made us wonder: Is Apple still really good at creating products? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood spoke about it with Julie Ask, principal analyst at Forrester Research. Below is an edited transcript of their conversation.

In the future, what will make us choose one product over another? It probably won’t be things like screen size or brightness. It’ll be more subtle attributes, like which phone is “smarter” than another. Apple is a company that's known for making great products, but will those devices continue to be the best five years from now? Marketplace Tech host Molly Wood talks about it with Forrester analyst Julie Ask. 

Operating a small business, especially in a niche industry, can go either really well or not.

Today’s trading was the very definition of volatility

Feb 6, 2018

Look at a chart of the Standard & Poor's 500 index today: It’s like a mountain range in Mordor — jagged movements, all up and down. Today, the Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 560 points at the open before rebounding more than 900 point in less than a half hour. There were swings of several hundred points over the course of the next couple of hours. And, of course, the Dow closed up 2.33 percent. This is what we would call a very volatile day in the market. 

Here’s why bond yields are rising

Feb 6, 2018

When investors pull their money out of stocks and need some place to put it, they often turn to the bond market. U.S. Treasuries are considered essentially risk-free. So investors can park their cash, earn some interest and know their money will be kept safe and sound. As investors moved money from stocks to bonds during the past couple of days, we briefly saw bond yields drop. Remember, yields are measure of the return investors get on money invested in bonds. But that dip aside, bond yields have been steadily rising in the last few months. Here’s why and what that means.

Behind all this market volatility, there’s another storm brewing

Feb 6, 2018

We are now two days away from another potential government shutdown and there's no budget deal in sight. The government pushed through a temporary funding bill last month to end a three-day shutdown. Senate Democrats dropped their objections to the bill in exchange for Republican leaders agreeing to discuss immigration and other contentious issues, but the funding was only slated to last through Thursday.

The Dow dive computers might have caused

Feb 6, 2018

Go ahead and pull up the chart of yesterday’s Dow Jones Industrial Average. The scariest-looking bit is the deep valley that starts just after 3 p.m. That’s when the index hit its lowest point of the day before quickly bouncing back some; it makes almost a perfect "U" on the chart. Speculation is that this dip was caused by machine trading — algorithms.

02/06/2018: Let's talk about market volatility

Feb 6, 2018

How are we doing today? Everyone feeling a little better? With clearer eyes and some of yesterday's dive recovered, let's take a closer look at what's going on in the stock market. We'll talk about algorithmic trading, bonds and the international market. Plus, don't forget there's a whole other storm brewing: We're two days from another potential government shutdown.

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks rallied Tuesday as a late surge helped them regain almost half their losses from the day before, when they had their biggest plunge in 6 ½ years. That came at the end of a day of heavy trading and huge swings for the market.

Major indexes in Asia and Europe took steep losses and U.S. markets started sharply lower, only to repeatedly change direction. After its 1,175-point nosedive Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 567 points right after trading began. After numerous turns higher and lower, it wound up with a gain, coincidentally, of 567.

51: Remember when a Columbia River boat pilot made us smart about shoes?

Feb 6, 2018

The Columbia River Bar is one of the most dangerous places in the world for ships of all sizes. That's where the Columbia River Bar Pilots come in. These specially trained experts pilot cargo and passenger ships of all sizes across the bar into the river that separates Oregon from Washington. Capt. Deborah Dempsey was the first woman to become a pilot with the organization, and she tells us why tying your shoes can keep you from falling "in the drink," and what happened the one time she didn't.

Unless you work alone, you spend more time with colleagues than your own family.

What does this mean? Well, there are the upsides; enjoying witty banter that breaks up the day, having an ally to compare notes about the boss with or being able to share a high-five for a job well done.

Stocks repeatedly sink and recover as wild ride continues

Feb 6, 2018

Update, 4 p.m. eastern:

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed sharply higher on Wall Street after another turbulent day of steep ups and downs.

The Dow Jones industrial average gained 567 points, or 2.3 percent, recouping nearly half of the 1,175-point plunge it took the day before.

The index of 30 big-name U.S. companies ended up at 24,912.

On its way there, the Dow took several harrowing turns during the day, opening with a plunge of 567 points — coincidentally, the exact same amount it wound up gaining at the closing bell.

Why some people are relieved the markets are dipping

Feb 6, 2018

The Dow Jones started to rebound this morning after plunging almost 1,200 points on Monday, a sharp reversal from the 26,000 milestone it hit almost a month ago. 

General Motors reports fourth-quarter earnings before the market opens today. Analysts are expecting an earnings increase for the big carmaker, which retook the lead from Tesla in market valuation last year. GM stock rallied 20 percent in 2017 as the company unveiled bold plans for driverless taxis.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

02/06/2018: Volatile markets around the world

Feb 6, 2018

(Markets Edition) Stock market volatility has been extreme this morning, with the Dow seeing a rebound that followed a dip at the open of trading. And with global stock market indicators also down, we'll talk to market experts about the causes of this and why we shouldn't worry. Plus: A look at General Motors' push to enter the driverless car market.

Ireland's PR strategy

Feb 6, 2018

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Here are some need-to-know numbers for your day. 

via GIPHY

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