What's Roiling the Stock Market?

From oil prices to the Swiss franc, we explain why volatility is on the rise and what you should do now.

Stock market volatility has returned with a vengeance. In the first 14 trading days of 2015, the Dow Jones industrial average fell or jumped by triple-digit amounts on eight occasions. Many commentators have attributed rising market jitters to the plunge in oil prices—surprising because cheap oil brings so many obvious benefits to the U.S. economy—and, more recently, to the decision by Switzerland’s central bank to allow the country’s currency to climb freely. Why are markets behaving so turbulently, and how should you react?

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Kathy Kristof
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Kristof, editor of SideHusl.com, is an award-winning financial journalist, who writes regularly for Kiplinger's Personal Finance and CBS MoneyWatch. She's the author of Investing 101, Taming the Tuition Tiger and Kathy Kristof's Complete Book of Dollars and Sense. But perhaps her biggest claim to fame is that she was once a Jeopardy question: Kathy Kristof replaced what famous personal finance columnist, who died in 1991? Answer: Sylvia Porter.