Know Your Financial News Sources: Where’s Oil’s Drop?

by Kevin on July 22, 2008

This afternoon I skipped over to CNN Money’s home page to look at what was going on in the markets. Not so I can time the markets, or pull money out, or put money in (we dollar cost average), but just to see what was going on. I was also interested to see what was going on with oil.

Normally at the top of Money’s homepage, it shows off the major indices — the Dow, S&P 500, Nasdaq, 10 year Treasury note, and the current trading price for a barrel of light sweet crude oil.

But I was befuddled as I searched for the price of oil: it wasn’t there. Here’s a screenshot. You’ll need to click it to see the full image.

CNN Money Doesn't Show Price of Oil When It Goes Down

That’s curious. When the price is going up, up, up the price of a barrel of oil is right there in between the treasury note and dollar/euro exchange rate.

Money did have a link in their main page to an article about the price of oil dropping $4 today. But it isn’t in the header there where it normally is. Seems a bit strange to me.

I checked Yahoo Finance and Google Finance with similar results — no one showing a track of what the price is, but several articles talking about the drop. I can’t tell you whether or not Yahoo or Google normally show the price of oil with the other indices as I don’t regularly check those sites. I’m not intimately familiar with them.

I was finally able to find actual up to date information at Reuters. Here’s what it looked like:

CNN Money Doesn't Show Price of Oil When It Goes Down

But again, Reuters didn’t display this information up front. I had to dig for it.

Call me a skeptic, but I like to be aware of these things. Why would CNN Money change the look of their page as oil continues to slide? If you take the numbers above — last settlement $131.40, down $3.810, that’s a 2.9% drop. Significant? Maybe. It’s not a 10% drop in a day, but it isn’t going up either.

Just a friendly reminder to think on your feet, be aware of who is feeding you information. It may be a strange coincidence, it may not be.

Update: this post was included in the 70th Edition of the Carnival of Money Stories.


Pete @ biblemoneymatters July 22, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Good news doesn’t sell as well as when prices go up and everyone panics?

Jonathan @ MYC July 22, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Oil going down being good news is debatable – it may simply mean that demand is slowing as we slide (further) into a recession.

But yeah, I don’t trust any of big news networks for ANY objective information – especially not CNN (well ok, maybe Fox news is slightly worse, but still…)

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