A Market Mood Swing

Ariana Lindquist For TIME

A trader takes a break. Brokerages provide customers with computers so they can place orders electronically

Tang Weishang is embarrassed to admit that he might have made a mistake. Just over a year ago, the 27-year-old sales executive thought he could make a better living trading stocks listed on the Shanghai bourse full-time. He started investing in 2002 with $33,700, and he says he has done pretty well. So, after convincing his wife that he could make enough money to support them, he quit his job and stayed home every day, trading stocks via the computer in the bedroom of the couple's Shanghai apartment.

Now, says Tang glumly, his wife...

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