WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. (TheStreet) -- Traders are always anxious prophets: they have to make informed guesses on a company's future. It's not easy, but quite often--as in the case of Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report today--traders are guided by the past.
That is why traders and journalists are almost always working at cross-purposes. Journalism is almost exclusively about the current moment: what is going on in the here and now. In journalism, there is rarely time--or room--for history. It's a burden.
Look at coverage of Amazon's second-quarter earnings, reported yesterday. Amazon reported excellent sales, but the Internet retailing behemoth is spending a considerable sum building out distribution centers, further online capabilities and just about anything else they think might give them an edge in the future.
On the surface, it looks like too much spending. But if past is prelude...well, Amazon has a long history of spending eye-popping sums, but proving detractors (and I've been one, at times) wrong when it boosts future business to a significant degree.
Will it happen this time? Past is prelude, but it's not defining. That said, many media outlets (like Investor's Business Daily) don't even mention Amazon's historic pattern in this regard. The Wall Street Journal does, which is good on a number of fronts. If nothing else, it tells you why traders are, with one eye fixed to the past, giving Amazon the benefit of the doubt today.
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;
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