WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY (TheStreet) -- Chronicling Yahoo! (YHOO) recently has meant playing beyond the field of reason. Rumors abound. Earlier this month, for example, Bloomberg trafficked a splashy (and unlikely sounding) rumor that Yahoo! would be purchased for 20 bucks a share. About eight days a week, we hear that Yahoo! is going to spin-off Asian assets.
And who knows? One day one of these rumors might even be right. But, considering, the business media should warn traders: you are entering a heavy rumor zone.
That did not happen yesterday when The New York Times ran with an article--The Wall Street Journal and Reuters later jumped into the act--that (you guessed it) Yahoo! was going to sell off Asian assets. Hey, where have I heard that one before? Oh yeah: everywhere.
We're not even going to get on our hip high boots and wade into the issue of sourcing here. The issue is frequency of rumors. When they are as prevalent as lame LED Christmas tree lights--well, just mention it.
The Times, Journal and Reuters all fail to. Barron's, by happy contrast, does it up right. They start their article will the appropriate caveat. Their first sentence reads: "If it's Wednesday, which it is, then it must be time for another Yahoo! deal rumor."
There you have it. You have entered a heavy rumor zone. Trader beware.
At the time of publication, Fuchs had no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this column.
Marek Fuchs was a stockbroker for Shearson Lehman Brothers and a money manager before becoming a journalist who wrote The New York Times' "County Lines" column for six years. He also did back-up beat coverage of The New York Knicks for the paper's Sports section for two seasons and covered other professional and collegiate sports. He has contributed frequently to many of the Times' other sections, including National, Metro, Escapes, Style, Real Estate, Arts & Leisure, Travel, Money & Business, Circuits and the Op-Ed Page.
For his "Business Press Maven" column on how business and finance are covered by the media, Fuchs was named best business journalist critic in the nation by the Talking Biz website at The University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Fuchs is a frequent speaker on the business media, in venues ranging from National Public Radio to the annual conference of the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.
Fuchs appreciates your feedback;
to send him an email.