Tag Archives: Markets coverage
by Chris Roush
Barry Ritholtz of Bloomberg View writes about why financial bloggers are a positive force in providing information to investors.
Ritholtz writes, “Go back in time a decade or so, and we all got our financial news from only a handful of sources. The mainstream papers and magazines dutifully reported what companies said, government agencies reported and what markets did. Blogging has added a level of skepticism to the media diet. There is a willingness to call out nonsense that quite bluntly, deserves to be called nonsense. Not that it didn’t happen before bloggers were willing to do it — but it happens much more quickly and with more depth than pre-blogging days.
“During the run up to the financial crisis, it was not the big press outlets, but rather the blogging community, that most urgently identified housing, sub-prime and derivatives as a huge problem. Much of the MSM — the blogger acronym for Mainstream Media — missed it
“2. Created a meritocracy: The readership of a blog is a function of the quality of its author’s thought process and writing skills. You cannot ‘buy’ your way into page views. Sure, there are search-engine optimization and clickbait and content farms, but they are obvious to most observers. Currently, there are hundreds of investing, technology, economics and stock-picking sites out there that have risen to prominence through the sheer strength of their authors’ ideas (You can see my list here). The impact of so many thoughtful individuals into the grand market debate has been a net positive for all involved, with perhaps an exception being plummeting cable ratings for financial (and other) specialty television.”
Read more here.
A lot of business reporters are assholes. I’m not sure there are more assholes per capita in business journalism, but, by virtue of the job, they can be pretty high profile. It’s clear that a lot of those folks get their jollies from seeing share prices swing up or down (mostly down).
But I respect those folks. I may disagree with some of their judgment calls (there is clearly a bias toward covering bad news), but nearly everyone in my Rolodex — even the assholes — is making a genuine effort to get things right.
They check names. They want facts to be correct. They want quotes to be accurate. They work to insulate themselves from accusations of bias. They put their name at the top of the story and stand behind the contents. You want to call those guys up and bitch? They’re happy to mix it up.
So I don’t have a big problem with the assholes.
The bigger threat to quality communication about business is sites such as Seeking Alpha, which follow the hip new media model of letting anyone write with no serious effort to make sure they’re writing accurately and without bias. The site is clogged with anonymous posters, many of whom are writing in clear support of their disclosed positions. And that’s the system working well. The disclosure process itself is done on the honor system, which ain’t ideal when dollars are on the line.
That’s not to say that there’s no quality content on the site. It’s just far harder to tell honest analysis from shilling than it is pretty much anywhere else.
It would be easy to lump the Seeking Alphas of the world in with community posts at BuzzFeed or Huffington Post, where cat-related user-generate content sits harmless or unread or harmlessly unread. But Seeking Alpha is getting eyeballs: 8 million pairs a month. And in a world of shrinking staffs on the business page, Seeking Alpha is filling a void, especially with regard to small cap stocks.
Check out the Google Finance page for your favorite thinly traded ticker. Bet you see a Seeking Alpha story.
This makes my life difficult. I don’t have the time to go and chase 7,000 “contributors,” many of them amateurs, playing dress-up and pretending to be analysts/journalists. And my Rolodex don’t have enough business reporters — even the assholes — to drown out the low-quality content with real, thoughtful reporting.
Up in the ivory towers of journalism, there is some concern that the ratio of flacks to journalists is getting way out of whack (it’s more than three to one now, if you’re interested). Companies are hiring lots more people like me, even as the pool of people like you shrinks. But we’re not building some army of pitchmen designed to blanket reporters with phone calls and emails. We’re trying to fill a void. Figure out ways of getting into the content game with tweets, blogs, “sponsored content,” newsletters and stuff like that.
We believe — in our heart of hearts — that investors and readers will be better off hearing from us than parsing the reality presented by some pseudonym-filled, loosely supervised peanut gallery on the web.
by Chris Roush
MarketWatch.com is looking for an editor on its markets team based in New York.
The ideal candidate will have a background in business journalism, preferably with some markets and investing experience, and an interest in a role that demands a range of skills. These include copy editing in a real-time environment, feature editing, assigning spot news and analysis, managing reporters, blog and column writing, and participation in a variety of group-based editorial projects.
We’re looking for someone who has solid business journalism skills, is comfortable telling stories about numbers, and who’s also eager to jump in with new ideas that will help MarketWatch retain its place on the cutting edge of digital journalism.
He or she should also have a sense of how to use social media for sourcing and distribution. A good sense of humor and ability to act with grace under pressure are key. In your cover letter, please describe how your background dovetails with the above job description, your best new idea for MarketWatch, and include your professional social media handles.
Interested candidates please contact email@example.com.
by Chris Roush
Matthew Ingram of GigaOm writes that the Dow Jones & Co. lawsuit filed Thursday against Ransquawk for allegedly stealing Wall Street Journal content isn’t likely to be successful.
Ingram writes, “Like the brokerage firms, Dow Jones is trying to piggyback on the original ‘hot news’ ruling by making its claim in New York state, which adopted aspects of the doctrine as part of state law — despite the criticisms made by legal scholars that enshrining a form of property right in factual statements contravenes federal copyright law. In its claim, Dow Jones goes to some lengths to argue that Ransquawk does business in New York and/or is hurting the wire service’s business prospects in that state.
“It’s true that seconds can matter when it comes to financial news in particular (Reuters charges certain clients thousands of dollars a month to get labor statistics just two seconds before they are released to the rest of its business customers). But it’s also true that sources of information are everywhere — and if anything, they are multiplying faster than Dow Jones or the court can count them.
“For example, part of the Dow Jones claim states that Ransquawk reproduced within seconds the wire service’s ‘scoop’ that Twitter had filed securities documents in preparation for an initial public offering or IPO. But that ignores the fact that literally hundreds of Twitter users — both wire services and individuals — did exactly the same thing within seconds of the filing.
“The reality, as I’ve argued before, is that Twitter is the news-wire for a growing number of people now, and the life-span of a so-called news ‘scoop’ continues to dwindle rapidly. Dow Jones may not want to believe it, but there are plenty of legal ways that Ransquawk — or anyone else, for that matter — can find out market-moving information within seconds or minutes of Dow Jones moving it on the wire. Suing every provider like Ransquawk is like closing the barn door after the horse has long since moved on to greener pastures.”
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
We produce scoops, uncover wrongdoing and aim to keep our readers informed on a broad range of topics through the hard work of nearly 2000 Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones journalists around the world.
So it’s no surprise that we refuse to sit back when others swoop in to swipe our content. Today we filed a lawsuit to hold one such offender accountable: Real-Time Analysis & News, Ltd.—otherwise known as “Ransquawk”.
Subscribers to Dow Jones’s DJX product pay for a host of benefits, including the earliest access to our unrivaled journalism. These DJX subscribers get DJ Dominant, a real-time news feed that includes first access to exclusive news and analysis uncovered by our reporters.
Ransquawk runs a web site and “squawk” service that blasts out real-time news relevant to traders and others. Ransquawk has somehow obtained access to our exclusive feed and is “squawking” out our content, verbatim, within seconds of it being published. Ransquawk sells both its audio squawks and an accompanying scrolling headline feed to its customers who no doubt have a need for access to timely, potentially market-moving news – exactly the sort of news that Dow Jones’s journalists break every day.
Since Ransquawk doesn’t engage in much newsgathering, they take content from news organizations like ours in order to produce their squawks and headlines. They’re systematically copying, pasting, and selling our journalists’ work. They don’t have permission to do this, but from their response to our cease and desist letter, they don’t seem to care.
Read more here.
by Chris Roush
The Christian Science Monitor has quietly launched a subscription news service, dubbed Monitor Frontier Markets, that provides coverage of investments and companies in emerging and smaller economies across the globe.
The service launched at the end of October. It will run for a few more months before the publication decides whether to tweak its coverage or roll it out to a broader audience. It has been taking trial subscriptions, and has talked to companies about receiving licenses for its employees to access coverage. Early subscribers include bankers from Ghana to Australia and U.S. financial services companies and government agencies.
“It’s a beta product at the moment, and it got its genesis over the past few years. We saw our international network get tapped by boutique firms across the world seeking research from our people on the ground,” said Matthew Clark, new ventures director at The Monitor and general manager of Monitor Frontier Markets, in a telephone conversation on Monday with Talking Biz News. “So we started to see the growing demand for this type of news.”
Monitor Frontier Markets has a crew of about 20 working, at various levels, although the paper has a network of 200 correspondents around the globe. The news is delivered by email, but it also has an website. The emails are segmented by regions of the world. The Monitor is also considering emails by industry such as industry, finance and telecommunications.
“Right now we’re offering daily emails by region, and we also do in-depth reports such as a 2014 report where we saw the most changes and most opportunities coming down the pike in the coming year,” said Clark.
As for the price, Clark said, “We’re kind of working on that.” Rates will differ based on industry verticals and the type of information that a client will want. The Monitor Frontier Markets content will not appear in full on the Monitor website.
“The aim of this is to provide a forward-looking lens,” said Clark. “Every story page has a full briefing, and before you get to the full text, you get a synopsis of why you should be reading this and three impact statements” that show the business, security and social impact of news events. “There aren’t a lot of people doing business news in this way, looking at what Western and foreign investors are trying to do in these countries. Bangladesh is a good example.”
Bangladesh has recently had protests that have blocked trade, preventing garment industry orders from being filled.
The editor in chief of is Marshall Ingwerson, who is also managing editor of the Monitor. The managing editor is Ben Arnoldy, who is deputy international editor of the Monitor.
by Chris Roush
Mark DeCambre, a business reporter at the New York Post, has been hired by the Quartz business news site.
DeCambre will be covering banks, hedge funds and other global finance firms. At the New York Post, he most recently served as the Wall Street reporter. DeCambre will be based in New York. Last year, DeCambre broke the story about how some Wall Street banks were upset with Bloomberg News using its terminals to report about its employees.
His hiring rounds out Quartz’ global business and finance team covering finance, markets, economics and related topics.
In addition, Rachel Feltman has been appointed medical and health reporter at Quartz and will be based in New York. She recently completed her master’s in science, health and environmental reporting at NYU. Feltman is launching the medical and health beat for Quartz.
Christopher Mims has been promoted to technology, science and health editor for Quartz and will remain based in Baltimore. He will continue to write articles while providing coverage guidance, coordination and story editing for the tech group.
by Chris Roush
George Goodman, who hosted the personal finance show “Adam Smith’s Money World” in the 1980s and 1990s, died Friday in Miami at the age of 83.
David Henry of Bloomberg News writes, “Goodman continued to carve out his niche in business journalism by giving Americans a grounding in economics and finance through his TV series ‘Adam Smith’s Money World,’ which premiered in 1984 on Public Broadcasting Service. Borrowing his nom de plume from the 18th-century Scottish philosopher, Goodman covered one topic per show. The 30-minute documentary series ran for 13 years.
“A contributing editor and vice president of New York magazine, he began using a pseudonym to keep his revelations of Wall Street anonymous. Goodman, who went by ‘Jerry’ among his friends, became an editorial-board member at the New York Times in 1977, was executive editor of Esquire magazine for three years, and editorial chairman of N.J. Monthly during the late 1970s.
“‘He changed the way we think about financial journalism,’ Peter Landau, who succeeded Goodman as editor of Institutional Investor, said in a profile on TJFR Group/MasterCard’s Business News Luminaries website. ‘Instead of being told that the Dow Jones Industrials declined two points or something equally boring, all of a sudden we were awakened to the fact that exciting things happen on Wall Street.’”
Read more here.
by Liz Hester
The New Year brings resolutions and in the world of financial journalism it brings stories that try to anticipate what the year holds for global financial markets.
The next 12 months may not prove as rich for initial public offerings as the last year. But to Wall Street bankers, 2014 still promises an abundance of opportunity.
And that could include what may be one of the biggest market debuts in years: that of Alibaba, the Chinese Internet behemoth.
Even as global merger activity turned in another lackluster performance, the business of taking companies public soared. The amount raised by I.P.O.’s in the United States last year jumped 40 percent over 2012, to $59.3 billion, according to data from Thomson Reuters.
Overall activity in equity capital markets banking totaled nearly $797 billion for the year, up 27 percent and one of the best years in recent memory. Fees for bankers in the field rose 34 percent from the previous year, to $17.9 billion, in what Thomson Reuters described as the highest level in three years.
The FTSE Renaissance Global I.P.O. Index, which tracks the returns of newly public shares, returned 31.7 percent last year through Dec. 17, outstripping the MSCI All Country World Index’s 15.4 percent.
Advisers are quick to caution that such a run — one with a number of big stock market debuts, like those of Hilton Worldwide, the animal health company Zoetis and, of course, Twitter — will be hard to duplicate. But as long as the economy holds up, so will the stock markets, prompting private companies to look to share sales to raise money.
According to Nicole Hong of the Wall Street Journal, the dollar is also kicking off 2014 with a rally:
The dollar soared on the first trading day of 2014, as expectations of a resurgent U.S. economy lured investors from around the world.
The euro was the most high-profile victim of the greenback’s surge. Its 0.6% drop, to $1.3670, was the biggest one-day percentage decline against the dollar since November.
Emerging markets’ currencies also came under pressure, as investors took a dim view of their economic growth prospects. The Turkish lira sank to a record low against the dollar, partly because of political problems in the country, while the South African rand tumbled to its weakest level against the U.S. currency since November 2008. The Brazilian real fell to a four-month low.
Driving the greenback’s renewed strength is anticipation that U.S. economic growth this year will outpace the recovery in Europe and other regions, which would boost the dollar’s value by attracting more cash to U.S. shores. As the economy heals, the Federal Reserve is expected to continue reducing, or “tapering,” its postcrisis stimulus program, a move that also helps the dollar because it slows the injection of new money into the financial system.
CNN Money’s Virginia Harrison recommended buying European and Japanese stocks instead of emerging markets:
Flush with liquidity, markets around the world surged last year, breaking records and pumping out healthy returns. So is there anything left for investors in 2014?
The flow of cheap money will lessen, say experts. But don’t despair.
While that will stir up risk in some regions, it will also present opportunities. At the same time, corporate earnings will take center stage as stock markets are weaned off massive amounts of stimulus.
“Prospects are much more dependent upon near-term earnings growth,” said John Wyn-Evans, head of investment strategy at Investec Wealth & Investment.
Strategists say developed markets hold better return potential than their emerging peers, as the U.S. Federal Reserve pulls back its support. Slowing growth in China is another challenge that could sap confidence and hurt equities in the year ahead.
But before you get too excited about 2014, Marc Jones of Reuters offers a reality check:
World share markets made a groggy start to 2014 on Thursday, with investors using some disappointing Chinese manufacturing data as a reason to cash in on some of last year’s gains.
After enjoying their best run in 15 years last year, U.S. shares were expected to edge lower when trading begins. Further gains depend on stronger growth this year, and investors were looking to U.S. jobless claims and updated December PMI figures to gauge the improvement in the world’s largest economy.
Manufacturing data from China overnight and on Wednesday proved disappointing. Equivalent data that showed euro zone manufacturing running at its fastest rate since mid-2011 were not enough to lift shares.
The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 was down 0.3 percent before the U.S. open. It had started the day at a 5 1/2- year high. Earlier declines in Asia had left MSCI’s 45-country share index down 0.5 percent.
“We think it is a temporary blip in China, but that and also perhaps the data showing the contraction in Singapore’s economy earlier, maybe gave the market a slight scare,” said ABN Amro economist Aline Schuiling.
So, like anything, it’s going to be hard to predict. But if the overall global economy can continue to show some strength, there should be bright spots for smart investors.
by Chris Roush
Tech stocks have returned to bubble levels, thanks to PR, weak financial journalism and cheap credit, writes noted financial journalist David Cay Johnston.
Johnston writes, “These sky-high valuations get little skeptical coverage in the financial press, which has acted more as lapdog than watchdog in the past decade. Instead of barking warnings, many Wall Street reporters wag their tales in ways that please the speculative crowd, which, at great profit, feeds them market-moving tidbits along with a pat on the head.
“A key element in today’s irrational exuberance is the rise of novel ways of valuing companies that gloss over key facts.
“In the 1990s the stock bubble expanded as companies persuaded journalists to shift focus from traditional measures such as net profits and net earnings per share. A new standard — earnings before extraordinary items — became a common measure, even though some companies reported extraordinary items with almost the regularity of quarter financial reports.”
Read more here.