Conference Board ends early media access to data


The Conference Board is ending its policy of providing consumer confidence data to business journalists before their release to the public, fearing leaks to traders.

Brody Mullins of The Wall Street Journal writes, “The move is one of the biggest cracks thus far in the traditional way in which private organizations and governmental agencies release market-moving economic data to the public. Previously, the organization had given a 30-minute peek to a small group of journalists who used the head-start to digest the often complicated results and prepare reports.

“The advent of high-speed computerized trading has pushed investors to seek market-moving information a fraction of a second before their competitors. To meet this demand, many media organizations, including Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co., have set up systems to feed data directly into traders’ computers, allowing elite investors to trade on the information ahead of the broader public.

“That development, combined with recent instances of suspicious trading ahead of media embargoes, has prompted a broad re-evaluation of how this data is disseminated.”

Read more here.