Serious traders and investors should follow the financial and economic news every day. This is especially important during significant corrections and bear markets because that’s when market-related developments change very quickly.
You must consume content from a well-balanced list of news sources. Every media organization has a bias: some have a bullish bias and others have a bearish bias. You want to know both the bull and bear arguments. Here is a list of news sources that I follow and the pros/cons of each.
Think of CNBC as the “official” source for financial news. CNBC focuses on mainstream news and mainstream opinions. You will rarely see any conspiracy theories on CNBC the way you might on other financial websites.
You should read CNBC.com for several reasons.
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- CNBC represents “official news”. A quick glance at the headlines will give you a general sense of what mainstream financial media is focused on right now. CNBC does not focus on small and insignificant news topics. This is good because I don’t have time to sift through hundreds of pieces of news every day.
- CNBC attracts a lot of high level individuals to their interviews. Investors like Ray Dalio and Warren Buffett only do interviews on CNBC. Government officials like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross don’t appear on many media outlets except CNBC’s Squawk Box. This is THE media platform for heavy-hitters to share their views.
- CNBC.com presents a mostly unbiased outlook on the market, although there is a small bullish bias. CNBC shares arguments from both the bullish and bearish sides. If most of the articles are bullish, CNBC will feature a bearish article explaining why the bullish arguments might be wrong.
- I use CNBC as a sentiment indicator to gauge the market’s overall bullishness or bearishness.
The problem with CNBC is that most of its opinions aren’t backed by much data. It’s full of financial dogma such as “fund manager XYZ expects stocks to fall because interest rates will rise”.
I don’t watch CNBC on TV. Reading CNBC.com is much faster than watching TV. In addition, most of the commentators on CNBC TV have no idea what they’re talking about. They literally repeat “the stock market is up/down X points today.” Thanks Sherlock, I know how to read numbers too. These commentators stroke their chins, try to look serious, and then chase the market. They panic AFTER the market has crashed and become extremely bullish AFTER the market has soared.
Bloomberg.com is more focused on data than CNBC. Whereas CNBC is mostly news and opinion, Bloomberg focuses on economic and market related data. CNBC’s opinions aren’t backed up by much data. It’s usually “fund manager XYZ is bullish b/c he expects the market to bounce on its 200 daily moving average”. Bloomberg’s opinions are backed up by many historical data and indicators that the average trader doesn’t know about.
Bloomberg is a rather unbiased media outlet. The data speaks for itself. How you interpret Bloomberg’s data is up to you. Bloomberg doesn’t really focus on the baseless opinions from various analysts, fund managers, and market commentators.
Although I say that CNBC and Bloomberg are relatively unbiased, they still do have a small bullish bias most of the time. It’s in human nature to be more optimistic than pessimistic.
I read Zerohedge – a permabear website – to consume a balanced list of news. Zerohedge’s motto is literally “the world will end tomorrow, everything is going to hell”. Every single piece of news on their website is either negative, bearish, or mocking other people.
There are always bullish and bearish factors at any given point in time. The news will never be 100% positive. If there are negative news out there, you can be sure that Zerohedge will have it. I get my daily fix of mostly positive news from CNBC, unbiased news from Bloomberg, and negative news from Zerohedge.
You need to be careful when reading Zerohedge. You too will think that the sky is falling if you read too much into Zerohedge’s news. For example, a single economic data will have multiple parts. If 9 parts are bullish and 1 part is bearish, Zerohedge will only mention the 1 bearish part and disregard the 9 bullish parts as “fake news”.
So use Zerohedge as a way to become aware of market-related problems. But always go back to the original source to see if this is really a problem, or if Zerohedge is just making something seem worse than it really is.
Investing.com is useful because it focuses almost purely on financial news. There aren’t many opinions. Investing.com will publish articles on small pieces of news that CNBC and Bloomberg missed. Investing.com’s news is also very timely. Some pieces of news might take an hour or two before they hit the headlines on CNBC.
Briefing.com publishes a good list of each week’s economic data. It separates everything into columns: this week’s economic data #, last week’s data #, and analysts’ forecasts.
A quick glance at the economic data on Briefing.com will give you a general sense as to whether the economic data is beating or missing analysts’ expectations right now.