Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Chumming the financial waters?

The last few days, we've seen some particularly egregious examples of negative baiting in the financial news, both print and broadcast.

First, Apple was chastised and taken to the woodshed for "missing forecast."

Makes perfect sense. Like the local TV weatherman tells you on Tuesday that he thinks next Friday will be partly cloudy. But you're already packed for a day of full sun at the beach. You didn't mis-pack. He missed forecast.

Then, this morning, atop an AP story in the NY Times, this headline: "McDonald’s Posts Profit but Issues Warning."

Huh? What? Oh, they're referring to the report of flat comps in the past month of December. That's not a warning, it's the reporting of documented fact. Past performance, attributed mostly to weather. I listened to the call. I don't recall hearing the word warning used in connection with the December figures. But it sure makes for a great grabber of a headline, right? Look! Blood in the streets!

Oh, and don't even get me started on the whole poisoning the well act over the supposed lost iPhones.

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