Croker Sack

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." — Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stock Market Plunge?

When is a decline of less than one-half a percent a worrisome change in the Dow Jones Industrial Average for the day?

When it's an election year -- and the Associated Press wants to persuade voters that things are going to hell in a hand basket:

Dow Falls to Worst Close Since March

Jun 6, 5:51 PM (ET)

NEW YORK (AP) - Stocks dropped for the second straight session Tuesday, with the Dow Jones industrial average falling to its worst close since March 9. Global markets also sold off as inflation fears worsened.

The Dow lost more than 110 points in midday trading before narrowing its loss later in the session. The index dropped nearly 200 points Monday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spooked Wall Street by saying that the central bank will remain vigilant in fighting inflation.
The Dow fell 46.58, or 0.42 percent, to 11,002.14. The index tumbled 199.15 points, or 1.77 percent, during Monday's session.

Broader stock indicators were also lower. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 1.44, or 0.11 percent, to 1,263.85, and the Nasdaq composite fell 6.84, or 0.32 percent, to 2,162.78.

The (usually unreliable) Kitsap Sun showed its partisan stripes by posting the AP article online as an update with this headline and summary on its home page:

Stock Prices Drop Sharply for 2nd Day
10:35 a.m., Tue., June 6, 2006
Stocks fell sharply for the second straight session Tuesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial average losing more than 100 points and falling below 11,000 for the first time since March. Global markets followed U.S. investors' lead in abandoning stocks as inflation fears worsened.

When a Demwit is hoping for bad economic news, little things like the actual number of points lost or the actual average as of the close of trading are unimportant. It's more sensational to say that the DJIA lost "more than a 100 points" and fell "below 11,000" -- so the editors of the (usually unreliable) Kitsap Sun did.

While most rational folks would consider a one-day decline of 0.42 percent a small drop, and wouldn't be shocked at a two-day decline of 2.19 percent, the editors of the (usually unreliable) Kitsap Sun spiced up their report by writing, "Stocks fell sharply for the second straight session...."

Yeah, it's an election year, all right. It's more important for the editors of the (usually unreliable) Kitsap Sun to try to influence public opinion by misleading their readers than it is to inform them with actual news reporting.


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