NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Animating a severe level of overconfidence and false hope afoot in the housing market, the media appears to exist in a state of constant surprise.
April's pending home sale numbers were released yesterday and looked so bad that 2008 called and asked for its headlines back. But seriously, folks, should it be that much of a surprise at this point that we're seeing grim housing numbers? Even if you are bullish on the sector (and I'm not, but if you are), factoring in such an obvious lack of economy stability, you have to see a recovery coming, at best, in fits and starts.
Yet there Reuters goes again, professing utter shock at the numbers. To Reuters, the figures amounted to a double barrel surprise. They showcased their trauma in the headline and, for emphasis, in the first clause of the first sentence.
Headline: "Pending home sales post surprise fall in April."
First clause of the first sentence: "Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in April..."
At some point, the media needs to reevaluate its expectations for a fluid and immediate housing recovery. Moreover -- whether you are trading
-- if you ever want evidence of overconfidence in the housing market, just look at how much "surprise" and "unexpected" turns you read about.
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.
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