OLD Media Moves

End of the year stock stories

December 31, 2005

Yes, it is that time of the year again. The end of the year stock story. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 2005 down slightly, while the S&P 500 and the NASDAQ were both up slightly. Virtually every business section I’ve looked at online this morning led with this story, and most of the business news web sites have also led with this story.

Here is a link to the Marketwatch story, which was also the lead in the Birmingham News, where I am for the next few days.

TheStreet.com’s story was a little better, taking more of a forward looking spin. You can read it here.

BusinessWeek’s online story about the markets was pretty typical of the coverage I saw. It can be read here.

I am typically a big fan of Floyd Norris in the New York Times, but his coverage of the markets in 2005 that appeared this morning was nothing spectacular. It can be read here.

Bloomberg News focused on the market’s worst drop — on a weekly basis — in nearly three months. Its story is here.

Why do I point all of this out? Because I believe that business journalism overall is not doing its readers a service by focusing on how the market does in a calendar year. That’s not how investors and the general public invest, so why should business journalism be talking to readers in a time frame that means nothing to them.

I understand the need for business journalism to be able to give readers a benchmark, but I think we’re overemphasizing what happens in the markets on a calendar year basis. Just my two cents.

Happy New Year to everyone.

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