Donald W. Reynolds National Center For Business Journalism

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Now what? Following up on the stock market turmoil

August 25, 2015

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The Federal Reserve. Photo via Wikimedia Commons user AgnosticPreachersKid.

Stock market woes are far from over. While the New York Stock Exchange recovered from its initial 1,000 point dive on Monday, it still wound up losing 558 points.

That marked the third significant loss in a row. And, if global markets remain volatile, U.S. markets most likely will be, too.

Here are some ideas to help you plan followup coverage.

1) It’s not 2008.

That’s an important point, because many reporters only have comparisons with the Great Recession to go by. As Kai Ryssdal of Marketplace points out,

Where we are today is nowhere near the hyper-leveraged, credit-bubblicious place we were at when Lehman Brothers went under.

The economy may not be strong, but it’s better than things were in 2008. Check the conditions in your city and help your audience understand how things are different in 2015.

2) Next up: interest rates. 

Everyone has been waiting for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates. Fed chair Janet Yellen has said she wants to see data about the economy before the subject comes up.

You can talk to local economists and see what they think Yellen will do now. Be sure to examine both sides of what a rate hike, or steady rates might mean.

3) Don’t panic. 

Nobody should invest in the stock market if they can’t afford to lose the money. Likewise, business experts say you need nerves of steel at times like these. It’s an important time to reassure your audience.

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