Aaron Patrick, Jason Singer and Stephanie Kang wrote in Saturday’s Wall Street Journal about the Reuters/Thomson talks and how that potential merger is indicative ofÂ the importance ofÂ financial news and information on today’s society.
They wrote, “The burst of takeover activity shows that as more and more general news becomes available free online, financial information — especially analytical tools to slice and dice bond and stock data — remains a lucrative product. The customers for it include well-heeled Wall Street traders and big financial institutions, among them hedge funds and investment banks. And as they increasingly deal in complex financial products such as exotic derivatives, their need for real-time, detailed financial data increases.”
“Later, they noted, “Dow Jones Online is a big player online, the No. 4 financial news and information Web site after portals Yahoo! Finance, MSN Money and AOL Money & Finance. In March, 7.8 million unique visitors in the U.S. went to Dow Jones sites, according to Nielsen/NetRatings.
“More detailed financial information has lately become available free on various Web sites, which also offer stock quotes and some financial modeling tools. But they don’t offer the sophisticated real-time data and analytics of the data-terminal business dominated by Bloomberg, Reuters and Thomson. For instance, stock quotes on free Web sites are typically delayed by 20 minutes, although CNNMoney and other financial sites have been pushing stock exchanges to give them up-to-the-second data.
“For news, traders often want to have at least two news wires running on their terminals so they can check another version of the same story. This also helps ensure that they see important headlines as quickly as possible. ‘Clients need to make snap decisions, and Reuters and Bloomberg compete to get news headlines out first,’ said Jason Page, head trader for Churchill Capital, a small brokerage firm based in Monaco. Mr. Page uses a Bloomberg terminal but also has access to Reuters news. ‘A few seconds can make a huge difference on price,’ Mr. Page said. ‘It’s hugely important to watch the news and see how the prices move.'”
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