OLD Media Moves

Don’t believe what you read about the markets

June 24, 2012

Posted by Chris Roush

David Moon, a columnist for the Knoxville News in Sunday, warns readers from using the media to make investing decisions.

Moon writes, “There is a massive difference between risk and the perception of risk. The press is generally only capable of addressing the perception of risk — and only in a superficial fashion. As a result, investors’ emotions are unnecessarily whipsawed between depression and euphoria, usually with little real underlying logic or rationale.

“It is not a new phenomenon.

“Long-time financial journalist Dan Dorfman passed away a week ago at the age of 80. He was, for a brief period in his career, Jim Cramer before there was a Jim Cramer. He could move markets with his comments, opinions and dissemination of rumors. The Nasdaq even instituted a ‘Dorfman rule,’ allowing suspension of trading in any stock he mentioned on television in an attempt to let the trading volume catch up with whatever impact Dorfman’s pronouncements were having on investor sentiment.

“My favorite Dan Dorfman story, however, is from October 1987, in the midst of that generation’s stock market crash. On Friday, October 16, 1987, the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 4.58 percent — which would be the equivalent of a 585-point decline from today’s levels. Dorfman was doing his typical post-trading day network interview with Lou Dobbs, passing along tips from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange with his trademark and endearing Elmer Fudd articulation: ‘Woo, the one thing I am absawootley certain about is that on Monday the market is going up, up, up.’

“On that Monday, the Dow dropped 22.6 percent, which would be today’s equivalent of 2,900 points in a single day.”

Read more here.

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