Stock markets in the United States dropped off on Friday after two economic addresses on Thursday dinged investors' confidence in the future health of the U.S. economy. Adding to the discouragement, Wall Street reacted sourly to news that Jurgen Stark, a German economist and a member of the European Central Bank governing council, had resigned. The Dow Jones Industrial average was down nearly 200 points in the first half-hour of trading, and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 both fell off more than a percent. According to CNN, "investors signaled disappointment that [Ben] Bernanke didn't offer up any new solutions to the nation's economic slowdown." The chairman of the Federal Reserve spoke on Thursday ahead of Barack Obama's address on jobs. MarketWatch reported that Obama's speech "failed to significantly boost confidence" among investors. Oddly, the traditional safe haven of gold also slipped as global international finance ministers planned to meet in Marseilles to try to figure out a way to jump-start the global economy.
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