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Financial and economic journalism

Explanations of daily changes in aggregate stock market indices are among the most ridiculous, speculative, and uncertain causal inferences made by journalists (other than that women tennis players, and only women tennis players, lose because they choke under pressure).

How do journalists know that a videotape appearance by OBL induced a swing of 00 points in a 500-stock index? To what trades did that explanation apply and to what degree? Can the journalist provide even one example of a trade for which that was the case? ("Yes, Lou, I moved out of IBM and into soybean futures this morning because I saw OBL take a walk on videotape.") More that one example? Enough examples to explain the aggregate change? Compared to other reasons and strategies for buying and selling that day? And financial journalists make these unsupported inferences every day the market is open.

The inference mixes levels of analysis: a few grand macro-events are mobilized to explain the aggregate result of thousands of different trading strategies, many of which are utterly indifferent to the events of that day. Many trades might well have been decided long before the news events of the immediate day. This method of explanation resembles astrology: macro-level astronomical events are used to explain and predict micro-level outcomes.

Note also that the effect is assumed to be a unique, single-day effect; and then the next day, some other news again produces a one-day effect. Just because financial journalists operate on one-day cycles does not mean that what they are trying to explain operates that way. A common error in analysis of evidence about human behavior is to assume that people think the same way the analyst, thinks. (This error also occurs in the analysis of surveys and polling data--as the analyst acts as if people are reasoning about politics as the analyst reasons about politics. Usually the error takes the form that the political belief systems of voters have the same coherence as the political beliefs systems of elites, an error exposed long ago by Philip Converse.)

There may be a self-fulfilling effect in partial operation here; journalism's theory becomes a strategy applied by traders as they try to guess the day's price moves. That is, the Keynes beauty contest analogy: not identifying the most beautiful but rather the one that will be thought to be the most beautiful. Many traders do watch the news flow to make the beauty contest guess. How many trades are based on that logic?

Editors should ask about every such inference: "How does the reporter know that this is the case?" And then publish the inference only if there is some kind of external evidence supporting the causal inference. The New York Times and The Wall Journal do not report the inferences of astrologers, so why these inferences?

These pseudo-explanations represent lazy journalism; the reporter looks at a few indices and at a few leading news stories on the computer screen--and then makes a grand causal inference. At times, this method provides an easy but false integration of the world news with the financial news of the day. When, and under what conditions, is idea that "news drives markets" true?

At a micro-level, this method of inference certainly has some leverage: a particular stock goes up or down in response to the day's news about that particular stock. But it is a fallacy to extend routinely and automatically that method of explanation to performances of aggregate indices.

Here is a discussion of "Single Factor Analysis"

-- Edward Tufte


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

In addition, what is the causal mechanism behind the conventional "Wall Street Wrap"? As the statistican William G. Cochran wrote, "A claim of proof of cause and effect must carry with it an explanation of the mechanism by which the effect is produced. Except in cases where the mechanism is obvious and undisputed, this may require a completely different type of research from the observational study that is being summarized."

The Wall Street Wrap makes a different causal claim every day, which requires, in order to differ from astrology, some evidence about mechanism.

-- Edward Tufte


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

This thread immediately brought to mind Chapter 3 of Visual Explanations on Explaining Magic: Pictorial Instructions and Disiniformation Design.

Specifically, Magic by Misdirection is quoted, "Where scrutiny is damaging, scrutiny is avoided." Which parallells in the linked article: "LOU DOBBS: There's not enough space in newspapers, there's not enough time on television or radio to give the explanation as it's deserved, and frankly the audience wouldn't want it anyway in most cases -- the broader audience. Because it is complex, and it takes far too much time. So we revert to traditional shorthand that while wrong is-- expedient."

These pseudo-explanations for market trends are conjurings which have more to do with propaganda (Blame OBL, or any other convenient bad guy.), sales strategy of newspapers, and politics than truthful explanations.

-- Jeffrey berg (email)


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

The comparison of stock market commentators to sportscasters is appropriate.

Their business is neither stocks nor sports. It is mass entertainment.

-- David Cerruti (email)


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

This cries out for some public shaming of the worst offenders.

Imagine how absurd it would look if six months' worth of a particular writer's or publication's explanations were listed in chronological order next to the market movements they purported to explain. Or better yet, stack contradictory explanations from different sources next to one another, along with a horoscope blurb for comparison.

-- Matt Frost


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

Can one of our kindly contributors, perhaps a news person, mention this thread to Jim Romenesko? It would be good for financial journalists to see this thread.

-- Edward Tufte


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

You will never hear market commentators say "Looks like the market's linked to outside air temperature again, Jim." It is about a meaningful indicator as most used.

As Mark Twain said -

"OCTOBER: This is one of the peculiarly dangerous months to speculate in stocks in. The other are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, December, August, and February."

- Pudd'nhead Wilson's Calendar

"There are two times in a man's life when he should not speculate: when he can't afford it and when he can."

- Following the Equator, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar

-- Andrew Nicholls (email)


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

Lurking beneath the Wall Street Wrap are the short attention span and the uncontextual reporting of the media; it is all news, no olds. Greg Esterbrook remarks on the coverage of Isabel:

"As the storm of hype continues, bear two other things in mind. First, Isabel is a Category 2 event. Sixty-five worse storms--Categories 3, 4, and 5--have made landfall in the United States in the past century, according to NOAA . The media is so disaster-hype-prone at the moment--partly because disaster predictions keep the ever-larger demographic of senior citizens glued to the tube--that Isabel will be spoken of as some kind of weather event without precedent. It's been worse 65 times in the last century.

Second, you'll hear that property damage is unprecedented. This will be cited by hype-meisters to justify the notion of Isabel as a phenomenal mega-event, and cited by enviros to back claims the hurricanes are increasing in intensity. But of course property damage will set new records: property is becoming more valuable. Between inflation, the strong market in housing values and a 30-year trend of building upscale housing in coastal areas, with each passing year, what stands in the paths of hurricane is simply worth more. All the National Weather Service record-damage hurricanes (Andrew, $26.5 billion, 1992; Hugo, $7 billion, 1989; Floyd, $4.5 billion, 1999; Fran, $3.2 billion, 1996; Opal, $3 billion, 1995) are recent. This is a result of rising property values, not rising storm intensity." http://tnr.com/easterbrook.mhtml?week=2003-09-12

[link updated February 2005]

-- Edward Tufte


Re: Storm damage

ET, You have hit on one area that irks me when the media is reporting anything to do with monetary values. Rarely, if ever, are the figures quoted adjusted to take into account factors such as inflation. For example, is a storm that causes $1 billion damage today more or less destructive than one which caused $100 million 20 years ago? Is the increased damage due to increased ferocity of the storm, or the fact that property values have risen in the intervening years? What about increased population densities, which would tend to lead to a greater financial impact of a severe storm/fire/etc.

It would be interesting to see how the storm damage figures look when adjusted for inflation.

-- Amos Bannister


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

Below, many inferences in a few paragraphs. How does the reporter know these things? That "investors focused on a report"? That "investors questions whether stocks have risen too high"? What is the evidence? What are alternative explanations? Note the waltzing around the evidence and the reification ("stocks unable to find a direction") throughout:

"Stocks fluctuated Friday, unable to find a direction despite a government report showing that the economy grew faster than expected in the second quarter.

The Dow Jones industrial average was off 2.31 in late morning trading, or 0.02 percent, to 9,341.65, after losing 81.55 Thursday.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index declined 0.99 or 0.1 percent, to 1,002.28, after losing 6.11 Thursday. The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite index edged up 0.83, or 0.1 percent, to 1,818.07, following a loss of 26.46 the previous session.

The indecisive trading followed two consecutive sessions of falling prices, as investors question whether stocks have risen too high given lingering doubts about the economic recovery.

Those doubts were fanned Wednesday by OPEC's announcement that it would cut oil production. On Thursday, investors focused on a report showing a larger-than-expected drop in durable goods orders."

How does the reporter know these things?

This quote above resembles a mediocre student paper, as the teacher keeps writing "Evidence?!" in the margin.

-- Edward Tufte


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

I worked with financial journalists for several years. It seemed like they went about their jobs in the classic reporter style, constantly working the phones and interviewing primary sources. They were always developing relationships with the people in the field, piecing together the bits of information that distinguish one day from the next.

If an article says investors focused on a particular economic event, you can presume at the very least that a reporter talked to plenty of traders who claim it influenced them. A reporter who only "looks at a few indices and at a few leading news stories on the computer screen--and then makes a grand causal inference" (as described in an earlier post) risks getting fired.

This is not to say that brief news summaries capture the complexity of the market or that they're always accurate! But they're not blind guesses.

-- Martin Wattenberg (email)


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

Enterainment indeed. It is fun to watch the nightly "news" program, listen to the radio pundits, and read the "technical" financial columns for the krap that they klaim kaused the stock market movements.

Where's a good random walk when you need it?

There are but a few great books on how stocks and prices actually work...

As for the hurricanes, there are inflation-adjusted prices...

see the NOAA URLs for adjusted (and smartly using the CONSTRUCTION Price Index) and unadjusted figures (in reverse order below).

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastcost.shtml

http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/pastcost2.shtml?

Norm Editor The Common Sense Investor (C) newsletter

-- Norman Umberger (email)


Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

I should begin by saying that commercial TV and radio news has never done well at justifying cause and effect and setting appropriate context.

However, as self-designated devil’s advocate, I argue that there is more to market moving explanations than you give them credit for. In fact, I will answer another question hinted at here at the same time; can there be any reality behind technical analysis in equity markets?

Humans are creatures of habit, and nowhere is there a more useful instrument for recording certain of those habits with some numerical descriptiveness than the markets.

In the market, men consistently respond thousands of signals such as:

  • Round numbers

  • “Great News” (hype)

  • Magazine covers

  • Patterns where patterns don’t exist

  • Momentum (the tendency of a stock to continue to move in the direction it has been moving)

  • Revenue growth, earnings growth, sales growth, etc
  • Responding to some of these is fundamentally rational in that there is a mechanism underlying changes in these measures. Responding to others, well, is rational because men consistently respond to them. It doesn’t matter if their underlying mechanism is simply the behavior of other individuals, because the behavior of large numbers of individuals can be measured, categorized, analyzed and utilized.

    In addition, the industry has forces working within at vastly different scales that create market movements in spite of the fact that their periodicity and nature are known. Take for example the mutual fund industry. On a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, investors, either directly or through their investment vehicles like 401k, pension, and other plans, fund their accounts. These purchases demand the purchase of the stocks and other investment devices in these vehicles, NO MATTER THE PRICE TO VALUE RELATIONSHIP OF THE UNDERLYING EQUITIES.

    Although many market decisions are made ahead of time, the industry is mediated, moderated, and milked by middlemen traders who carry out the vast majority of transactions in the markets, often on days not of your choosing, and often making complex financial deals which ultimately end up fulfilling your simple wish to add a few shares to your mutual fund (holding your funds ‘til opportune moments, short sales, multitudes of option trading strategies, and at the extreme end derivatives are all examples). On most days, these middlemen are probably more important to financial journalists than the public at large.

    Events and news of this predictable nature to which individuals and groups react in the market include dozens of popular economic indicators (CPI, jobs #s, consumer confidence), industry/sector news (multiple store same store sales announcements, transport index) and predictable external events (weather, “wedding season”).

    These events can explain movements in the market and create opportunities for those poised to take advantage of them.

    This predictability means that, as Martin Wattenberg suggests above, if some subset of traders gives a particular explanation as to the movement of the market, at least a share of that movement is very possibly attributable to that information, if for no other reason than those traders have integrated that information into what they were doing that day.

    Furthermore, if the appropriate ultimate rational signal mechanism of markets is the price to value relationship, and there are activities occurring within the market which do not account for this signal, then interested individuals and groups can take advantage of these differentials and potentially profit. (ding, ding – technical analysis, although my definition is probably too expansive and should just say “active trading”)

    Well, you ask, wouldn’t Efficient Market hypotheses demand that all of these things disappear, or be permanently changed into new inefficiencies needing to be discovered afresh?

    Long-term market studies show that while this is the case with many inefficiencies, old habits die-hard. Put more academically, “pure” efficient market hypotheses have been largely disproven, showing that information uptake and habit alteration speeds can vary based on market participant size and focus. Giants are often not interested in small swarms of bugs and might not be able to do anything about them --- the tools of large financial institutions allow them to work much more easily on large bets and deals than multitudes of smaller ones.

    A large part of my education on markets comes from Mark Hulbert, of the Hulbert Digest. Beginning in the early 80’s, he started to compile a database with the stock, bond, and precious metal recommendations of newsletters as well as the timing of those recommendations. This 25-year database has allowed him to pose and even answer questions based on various trading and investing techniques. See more at hulbertdigest.com.

    So, are financial journalists explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices accurate? Sometimes no, but occasionally yes because of mass human reaction to meaningless events or mass human reaction to real forces acting on the markets. A little butchering and sewing some mixed metaphors courtesy of Yogi Berra et al give us;“ Its tough to make predictions, especially about the future, but hindsight can be 20/20”

    Although economics is a social science, subject to the vagaries of human emotion, habit, and biology, it is a highly quantifiable one and with large numbers of measurements, occasionally predictive.

    -- Karl Hartkopf (email)


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    A test of any investment strategy is beating or at least matching the market over a few cycles of big ups and downs in the market. This test applies to the Nobel-prize strategists at Long-Term Capital Management, to technical analysis, and to your local investment advisor. Proposing such a test is a polite way of asking the questions: 'If your method is so good, then why are you telling me about it, and why aren't you rich? Why bother to make nickel and dime commissions off of me instead of millions in the market?"

    This is at least the issue for those who receive no thrills from betting, gambling, lotto, gaming strategies. And for those who have better things to do than to pay attention to daily market swings. Many many years ago when I played around for a few months with stocks (anyone remember Calcomp?), I quickly got bored of learning how much money I lost or made each morning when I rushed to the tiny type of the stock page in the Times.

    For those who want to invest prudently (a reasonable mean and modest variance) and forget about it:

    (1) Diversify. Real estate (your house is often a good investment and you can always borrow against your equity in case of a short-term need for money ), money market, tax-free bonds, and a market-tracking fund. Diversification means not placing most of your investments in the stock of the company you work at or in anything related to that company; after all, you're already betting a lot on that company simply by working there.

    (2) Avoid commissions, avoid significant front-end loads. Avoid advice you have to pay for, either directly or indirectly (see the first paragraph above for the reasons why.) Particularly avoid advice from those who have conflicts of interest (between your interest and theirs), such as advisors who receive fees from you AND from the funds or stocks they encourage you to invest in.

    (3) Forget about it. That is, avoid lurching behavior in investments.

    (4) What this means practically is to buy a place to live in and to go into a few different Vanguard funds (stock-market tracking, bonds, money market).

    (5) Note that this strategy is for those who wish to invest prudently and forget about it.

    My personal addition to this common-sense list is that I avoid investments in things that are fashionable, too good to be true, insider cheats, pirate-like, or contrary to my ethical and political values.

    -- Edward Tufte


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    I like the explanation that "strong selling" is the cause of stock price declines. Since the market works by matching buyers and sellers, it would be equally accurate (misleading?) to say there must have been "strong buying".

    Mathew

    -- Mathew Lodge (email)


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    Probably the meaning is higher than average volumes accompanying downward prices. Whether this refers to a few stocks, some stocks, or many is another question. One problem with summary interpretations is the ecological fallacy, the making of inferences about individual behavior on the basis of aggregate evidence.

    -- Edward Tufte


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    'For those who want to invest prudently (a reasonable mean and modest variance) and forget about it:1)Diversify...2)Avoid commissions/ advice you have to pay for/conflict of interest...3) Avoid lurching behavior in investments...4) Own your residence/Buy low expense ratio index funds in a few areas based on place in life (stock-market tracking, bonds, money market)...5) Note that this strategy is for those who wish to invest prudently and forget about it.'

    I agree with your strategy, given your assumption of invest and forget.B In fact, the markets, depending on which index is your yard stick, return about 10 percent (10%) annually for stocks and about six percent (6%) annually for bonds.

    I do have a few caveats to this strategy:

    • It takes a form of discipline to apply this strategy since you have to stick with your investments through market rises and falls, which at time are precipitous.
    • There may be times in life where your investment mixes should be changed, such as when you move toward retirement.B Without some form of advice, either book or hired, you could be short for retirement costs and medical care (medical costs are expected to rise by double digit percents over the next decade)
    • As in all markets, as strategies are adopted en masse, the behavior of that market will be inexorably altered as the mass behavior is anticipated and sapped of much of its profit making ability.B If too many people take your approach, it won't work as well in the future.
    'If your method is so good, then why are you telling me about it, and why aren't you rich? Why bother to make nickel and dime commissions off of me instead of millions in the market?"

    If I had a system that worked, I don't think I'd tell anyone about it.

    'One problem with summary interpretations is the ecological fallacy, the making of inferences about individual behavior on the basis of aggregate evidence.'

    Although the results can be amusing when the financial media try to force the results of millions of daily decisions in the form of trades (long, short, options, derivatives) into a three line narrative on the nightly news, or even more amusingly, try to predict the direction of the "major indexes" for the day by using one or two pieces of popular economic data to be released that morning, it doesn't mean there is nothing to back it up.

    An example. Most indexes are based on market capitalization, known as cap-weighting. This is how the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index is built. When news of a particularly negative or positive nature about a large market capitalization company is released, it moves an index with above average force given its size. Thus, many days, a large portion of the movement of an index can be attributed to the news about a single company and bears reporting as an index moving event. [It might be interesting to start a thread on benefits and drawbacks of various index construction techniques]

    Just because the possibility of an ecological fallacy exists, doesn't mean there is one.B I see a great graduate student paper here, studying how often market wrap summaries are committing ecological fallacy errors.

    Underlying my arguments is a distaste for the assumption that human behavior, in the market or elsewhere, is not researchable, predictable, and quantifiable. Psychologists, sociologists, and economists have all done some wonderful (and yes, atrocious) work on how people work as individuals and groups.B To say that we can have biology, physics, and even more effective presentation techniques [design], but we shouldn't bother studying the actions of people in markets and other areas of life is unacceptable to me.

    -- Karl Hartkopf (email)


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    Karl wrote:

    To say that we can have biology, physics, and even more effective presentation techniques [design], but we shouldn't bother studying the actions of people in markets and other areas of life is unacceptable to me.

    One of the most accessible and intelligent books on the actions of groups of people and markets is The Wisdom Of Crowds by Jim Surowiecki. He shows that a properly aggregated group forecast of a quantitative value or future event is more accurate than the forecast of "experts". Examples in the book include estimates of the weight of a prize animal by farmers (the average of all estimates was 99% accurate) and future sales of printers at Hewlett Packard.

    For statisticians used to the normal distribution, or those familiar with sampling theory, it will be no surprise that the distribution of a set of estimates (samples) of a physical quantity cluster around the actual value. But this result is hardly ever used outside of science or engineering (e.g. in making business decisions).

    Aggregated group forecasts also accurately predict values that are currently unknown (the HP printer sale example). Mr Surowiecki ably explains the details in his book, and further classifies group decision-making. The implications for markets is explored at some length, as is the failure of group decision-making in the Columbia disaster.

    Regards,

    Mathew

    -- Mathew Lodge (email)


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    Henry Bloget, of all people, writes a smart, and thoughtful investment column in Slate. It is written both from an insider and financial research point of view. For example:

    "But the bigger issue is that active money management—aka stock-picking, the strategy employed by most funds—doesn't usually work. According to study after study, the vast majority of fund managers can't generate enough extra performance from active trading to offset the costs of their efforts (costs that include salaries, bonuses, and fund company profits). This problematic finding doesn't stop fund companies from selling active-management prowess, of course—or from collecting huge active-management fees even when performance stinks. Your odds of picking a market-beating fund are somewhere between one in six and one in 30 (roulette-like); the fund industry's chance of collecting big fees, meanwhile, is 100 percent."

    See http://slate.msn.com/id/2110441/

    -- Edward Tufte


    Response to Journalist explanations of one-day price changes in aggregate stock market indices

    On the macroeconomic side, see

    http://niemanwatchdog.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Showcase.view&showcaseid=0032

    -- ET


    Here are various explanations of the recent drop in stock market. Note that if the explainer already has a well-developed repertoire of causal explanations available, the analytical task is not so much looking at the evidence but rather sorting out which prior explanation applies to the recent event. Thus new evidence simply becomes a confirming case of some old attitudes:

    First, from the LA Times (note the moody investors explanation, as aggregate evidence is used to infer individual psychological states):

    Stocks Slide on Concern Over Rate Hikes By Jesus Sanchez, Times Staff Writer 1:20 PM PDT, May 12, 2006

    Wall Street slumped for a second day in a row as a larger than expected drop in consumer confidence helped compound investors' concerns about the economic toll from surging interest rates, spiking energy and commodity prices.

    The Dow Jones industrial average, which earlier this week had edged to within 80 points of a record high close, suffered its second consecutive day of triple-digit losses. The Dow sank 119.74 points, or 1.04%, to 11,380.99.

    Other major financial indexes, including the technology heavy Nasdaq and the broader S&P 500, posted large losses. Small company stocks, which have led the market's rise in recent years, took another big hit, with the Russell 2000 index dropping nearly 2%.

    A sharp drop in oil futures prices today failed to put investors in a better mood. Instead, traders seemed more interested in the widely watched Index of Consumer Sentiment, which dropped to its lowest level since last fall, when the Gulf Coast was ravaged by hurricanes Katrina and Rita, according to people with access to the private survey compiled by the University of Michigan.

    "If sentiment stays at this level -- it might even decline further -- you should expect a serious slowing in" consumer spending in the second and third quarters, economist Ian Shepherdson said in a research note for High Frequency Economics.

    Inflation fears were also fanned by a government report today that showed import prices, led by energy products, rose sharply in April after falling the previous month.

    On Thursday, Wall Street suffered its biggest sell-off in nearly four months as rising energy costs, lower-than-expected retail sales numbers and lingering concerns about the Federal Reserve's direction on interest rates rattled investors.

    "This is probably a shakeout the market needed, but it's very broad-based," said Todd Clark, director of trading at Nollenberger Capital Management in San Francisco.

    The sell-off appeared Thursday at least in part to be a delayed reaction to the Fed's meeting Wednesday. The central bank boosted its benchmark interest rate to 5%, as expected, but said further hikes "may yet be needed." Many investors had been looking for a sign that the Fed would take a pause after its latest increase.

    These investors believe the economy will cool on its own because of a decelerating housing market and rising gas prices. Further rate hikes, they say, could choke the economy and decapitate the bull market."

    And then the Fox network analysis:

    Fox News Host On NSA Story: Wall Street Won't Let A `Puny Little Traitor...Take Down Our Market'

    The Dow was down 120 points today, prompting Fox News' David Ruder to suggest it was because USA Today made "the country less safe" by running its story on NSA's data mining.

    But Fox News host Brenda Butler disagreed, saying that Wall Street would "not going to let some puny, little traitor, some leaker who went ahead and compromised our national security, take down this, take down our market, take down our country."

    RUDER: Many thought this was the week the Dow would hit an all-time high. We seemed well on our way and looked like Thursday could be the day. Well guess what? Then came the headlines in yesterday's papers. A leak about national security. The president saying the country is less safe and stocks sell off big-time. A coincidence? So when national security is compromised, how closesly does Wall Street watch? With us now, the Cost-of- Freedom All-Stars, we've got Brenda Butler, she starts it off on Saturdays, the host of Bulls and Bears, along with Stormin-Mike Norman and Charles Payne. So Mike, a coincidence? I don't think so. ...

    RUDER: We saved the best for last. Brenda?

    BUTLER: Let me tell you something. Wall Street knows, we are winning this war on terror. They are not afraid that we will win it. They are so secure in President Bush's winning it, they are not going to let some puny, little traitor, some leaker who went ahead and compromised our national security, take down this, take down our market, take down our country, there is no way.

    -- Edward Tufte


    A Mark Hulbert piece from Marketwatch on why explanations for daily movements are suspect. More support for ET's POV, including a citation of a study on the matter. The link in miniature; http://tinyurl.com/o9b8h.

    -- Karl Hartkopf (email)




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