The U.S. stock market fluctuated wildly this week.
For four days, the Dow Jones industrial average has moved up or down by 400 points or more.
On Friday, global markets showed signs of stabilizing.
The Dow's flip-floping this week may sound eerily reminiscent of 2008, but experts say there's a big difference between the crisis of 3 years ago and this year's concerns.
"Unlike 2008, the system is functioning. The plumbing of the system is fine. In 2008, the plumbing got clogged and therefore the system got very near to total breakdown," explained Mohamed El-Erian, the chief executive officer of Pimco.
What's different this time is that U.S. banks aren't weighed down by toxic mortgages and have much higher reserves.
Meanwhile, investors still have great concerns about four European countries financial troubles. Many fear rumors of a credit downgrade in France will come to pass and the country's banks could fail.
"The favorite line of the day was, 'How do you say Bear Stearns in French?,' said Art Cashin, director of floor services of UBS Financial Services.
In Italy, the government is holding an emergency meeting to try and balance its budget and calm market concerns.
The good news for the U.S. economy right now is the number of people applying for unemployment benefits has fallen to the lowest level since April. Layoffs are easing in many states and economists are predicting mild job growth.
The new jobs report helped the Dow close higher by more than 400 points Thursday.
The recent fall in oil prices is also good news for consumers. Drivers could now see gas prices drop by as much as 50 cents a gallon over the next few weeks.