Jim Zarroli | New Hampshire Public Radio

Jim Zarroli

Jim Zarroli is an NPR correspondent based in New York. He covers economics and business news.

Over the years, he has reported on recessions and booms, crashes and rallies, and a long string of tax dodgers, insider traders, and Ponzi schemers. Most recently, he has focused on trade and the job market. He also worked as part of a team covering President Trump's business interests.

Before moving into his current role, Zarroli served as a New York-based general assignment reporter for NPR News. While in this position, he reported from the United Nations and was also involved in NPR's coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the London transit bombings, and the Fukushima earthquake.

Before joining NPR in 1996, Zarroli worked for the Pittsburgh Press and wrote for various print publications.

He lives in Manhattan, loves to read, and is a devoted (but not at all fast) runner.

Zarroli grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, in a family of six kids and graduated from Pennsylvania State University.

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This winter, millions of small businesses are barely surviving. Congress has approved another round of loans to help those businesses. But as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, it won't be enough for those closest to the edge.

No one predicted what a tumultuous, stomach-churning year 2020 would be for the stock markets. And few foresaw how well it would end up.

Here are the highlights:

Stocks in meltdown

Between Feb. 12 and March 23, the Dow lost a stunning 37% of its value.

Economic benefits for victims of the pandemic will expire soon if Congress and the president don't act to extend or replace them.

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It took months, but late last night, Congress passed a spending package to help people and businesses struggling through the pandemic. It includes $900 billion in aid. And here's how Democratic Congressman Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey described it.

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This week in California, water became a commodity. That means it can be traded now just like oil or gold. It's a testament to how important water is in a state that's suffering from droughts and wildfires. Here's NPR's Jim Zarroli.

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Nasdaq wants to require the more than 3,000 companies listed on its stock exchange to improve boardroom diversity by appointing at least one woman and at least one minority or LGBTQ+ person to their boards.

Companies would have to report regularly on how many women and minorities sit on their boards and then follow that up by appointing at least one member of each group, under a rule submitted Tuesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Updated at 4:20 p.m. ET

Not even the pandemic could keep the Dow from breaking a major milestone: the 30,000-point barrier.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average powered past 30,000 for the first time Tuesday after President Trump allowed the transition process to begin, even as he has yet to concede.

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Updated at 4:25 pm

Hopes for a vaccine have brought good times back to financial markets.

Stocks extended a recent rally Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closing at record highs, after Moderna became the second drugmaker to tout progress toward developing an effective COVID-19 vaccine.

The Dow ended the day up 471 points, or 1.6%, and is now close to reaching 30,000 points for the first time. It appears to have put behind it for now a period of uncertainty ahead of the election that hurt markets.

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Euphoria broke out on Wall Street today following the news of that successful vaccine trial. The Dow and the S&P 500 soared to record highs early in the day before giving up some of their gains. But here's a twist. Stocks for companies that have benefited from stay-at-home orders, like Zoom, Netflix and Amazon - their share prices cratered. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Stocks went gangbusters as soon as the market opened. There was no secret why.

Updated at 4:35 p.m. ET

Euphoria broke out Monday on Wall Street after promising news of a vaccine trial provided a major dose of hope for the global economy.

The powerful rally was sparked after Pfizer and its partner BioNTech said the experimental COVID-19 vaccine was more than 90% effective.

The stock market racked up its best week since April despite the turmoil of an election that's still unresolved.

While the major stock indexes mostly finished a bit lower Friday, the drop wasn't enough to offset four days of strong gains. The S&P 500 surged 7.3% for the week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 1,800 points, an increase of 6.9%.

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The Small Business Administration may have handed out billions of dollars in loans to businesses that falsely claimed to have been damaged by the coronavirus lockdowns, a report from the agency said on Wednesday.

Officials at the agency were so inundated with requests for disaster aid starting last March that they couldn't adequately vet the applicants, according to the report from the Office of SBA Inspector General Michael Ware.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday as a spike in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe is raising the prospect of further lockdowns that could hurt the global economy.

At the close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 943 points, a decline of 3.4%, and is in negative territory for the month. The S&P 500 fell 3.5%, its third consecutive decline, and is down over 8% from its record high in early September.

Montana's Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock waited until just before the filing deadline in March to announce he would take on incumbent Republican Steve Daines in the race for Senate.

It took a little more than a week for millions of dollars in campaign contributions to begin pouring into the sparsely populated state from outside, quickly flooding Montana's small broadcast markets with campaign ads, many of them decidedly negative.

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Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Stocks on Monday posted their worst day since early September amid a surge in coronavirus cases in the United States and Europe and declining optimism about another U.S. pandemic relief bill.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 650 points, or 2.3%, posting its biggest decline since Sept. 3. The other major indexes were also down, though not as much.

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Democrat Joe Biden's campaign has raised a lot more than President Trump's campaign in recent months. Some of the money has come from people in finance who are increasingly supporting Democrats. NPR's Jim Zarroli has been taking a look.

Updated at 3:16 p.m. ET

The U.S. budget deficit soared to a record $3.1 trillion, following a massive surge in government spending aimed at containing the economic damage from the coronavirus pandemic.

The deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 was more than triple that of fiscal 2019 and easily eclipsed the previous record of $1.4 trillion recorded in 2009.

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Sometimes, Melissa Michelson feels like she has created a monster when she hears from voters in the 2020 election.

"When they mention how many texts they get, I say, 'I am so sorry I feel personally responsible,' " says Michelson, a political science professor at Menlo College in California.

More than a decade ago, Michelson conducted an experiment to see if text messages could be used to increase voter participation in San Mateo County in California.

Stock prices dropped sharply Tuesday, erasing earlier gains, after President Trump called on his representatives to stop negotiating with Democrats on another coronavirus stimulus package until after the November election.

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JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon calls it "creative combustion": The serendipity that results when people work side by side, bouncing ideas off each other and coming up with innovative ways to address problems.

The problem is, in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, that type of in-person collaboration is pretty much what businesses have wanted to avoid.

But some CEOs are now willing to take a risk in search of some of that lost magic.

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