OLD Media Moves

As Dow passes 10,000, Petallides of Fox Business talks the beat

October 15, 2009


Nicole Petallides is the floor correspondent at the New York Stock Exchange for Fox Business Network.

Prior to joining Fox, she was an anchor at Bloomberg Television where she reported from the New York Stock Exchange for the nationally syndicated shows, Bloomberg Business Report and Bloomberg Market Update. While at Bloomberg, Petallides also covered weekend news and served as a business news anchor for CW11’s WPIX morning news program in New York.

Before joining Bloomberg, Petallides served as an assistant producer for CNBC, where she produced daily floor reports from the NYSE. Prior to CNBC, she was a segment producer for Dow Jones Television’s The Wall Street Journal Report with Consuelo Mack and international programs Asian Business News and European Business News.

Petallides talked to Talking Biz News by e-mail about covering the stock market in the wake of the recent passing of the 10,000 mark by the Dow Jones Industrial Average. What follows is an edited transcript.

1. How is the Dow Jones Industrial Average crossing 10,000 a news story?

It is a news story because we’re up 50 percent off the March lows. No, were not back to Dow 14,000, but traders say one step at a time. The market is forward looking. CEOs and corporate earnings are showing that the worst is behind us.

Intel said notebooks continue to grow and they plan to grow inventory in the fourth quarter. Bits and pieces of news show slow improvement and that is better than nothing. Unemployment continues to rise, but that is a lagging indicator and will be among the last of the economic numbers to recover.

2. How would you compare the coverage from last year when the Dow dropped to this year with the Dow rising?

Coverage was intense because breaking down below 10K hurts everyone in America — those with 401Ks and IRAs, and as the economy weakened job losses mounted. Very tough environment. It’s always easier to report that people are making money rather than losing money — excluding the “shorts” of course, those who bet the market is going down.

3. What’s the most difficult issue for you in covering the stock market?

Over the last year reporting the job losses was particularly hard. Even here at the NYSE traders have left because of the contracting economy and lack of business. This was a global problem not just here in the U.S. I stood in my spot each day saying General Electric, Pfizer, IBM, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs were cutting jobs. I often would say, “I’m just the messenger,” but now I’m saying “stocks hitting new 52-week highs.” Now we’re not back where we were in many cases, but we’re getting there.

4. How does being on the floor help you report the story?

It is priceless being here on the floor. The traders talk to clients, portfolio managers, hedge funds, global trading desk, all the institutions so I can walk into a booth where each guy probably already made 10 phone calls by 9 a.m. and really get the feel of the market. Also being on the floor, Fox Business Network is the only media booth positioned on the trading floor. The traders stop by our booth and tell me stocks with heavy volume, volatility, news, movers and of course rumors. We can investigate those, get some real facts and report the news. The CEO of the NYSE Duncan Niederauer and his team are always helpful explaining right away why a stock may be halted or any other piece of breaking news we are all investigating.

5. How do you think markets coverage in the media affects traders and investors?

I think the team at Fox Business Network is right on the money. We try to keep it in perspective, with facts and real news. We tell you how professionals are putting their money to work. People in America are smart. We get the news out fast and accurately and let the viewers use it to their advantage. I think the folks at Fox Business all come with good experience as well. They understand business news and embrace it because we all care a lot.

6. What do you like about covering the market?

Forget like it, I love it. I find the market so exciting. My adrenalin is always pumping. It is interesting because sometimes there are leaders that hold the lead and drive the market or sometimes you’ll have complete turn arounds and that’s exciting too. There is money to be made one way or the other each day. Gold at all-time highs, oil is at recent highs, stocks at 52-week highs. It’s exciting, I really love it.

I’ve been on the floor of the NYSE for over a decade, and every crowd around a trading post is exciting — which way will it go and why? The people who work on the floor of the NYSE are smart and that is intellectually stimulating. I know that sounds hokey but it’s true.

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