Record Dow Downplayed After Largest Gain in Nearly 4 Years
Itâs good news when stocks soar to new records. That means the economy is showing signs of strength and a stronger economy means a better standard of living for Americans, right?
You wouldnât know that from watching the July 12 evening news, especially CBS âEvening Newsâ and ABC âWorld News with Charles Gibson.â Instead, the networks served up âsome dark cloudsâ and âsome worries.â
âBut, and thereâs always a âbutâ with the stock market,â said ABC correspondent Dan Harris. âIf say gas goes to $4 a gallon or interest rates spike unexpectedly, all bets are off. As one investor today, the market is a lot like the weather in
On July 12, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs. The stock market saw its largest gain in nearly four years. But ABC and CBS placed the emphasis on negative symptoms of the economy, a âslumpingâ housing market and high gas prices.
âThere are still some dark clouds looming over this market,â said Harris. âThe housing market is in a slump, interest rates are rising and gas prices are ticking back up.â
Downplaying good economic news, especially the stock market is nothing new to the network news. Reporters have a history of pressing other economic factors like gas prices and housing, then threaten these pressures would sink the economy.
âThere are still some worries out there,â said CBS correspondent Anthony Mason. âThe housing market is still slumping. Weâve had close to a million foreclosures since January.â
The housing market has been a popular wet blanket for the media to cast on any of the recent positive economic news. And, as ABC has proven, they even go out of their way to seek foreclosure hardship stories.
âHousing is acting as a weight on the economy, it could act as a weight on the market too,â Mason said, adding there were âsome worries.â
Even NBC âNightly Newsâ got in on the act. Although the July 12 broadcast acknowledged the record high and dramatic surge, the report was overshadowed by another home loan foreclosure story.
â[W]eâve heard this good news on Wall Street,â said âNightly Newsâ anchor Brian Williams. âIt is despite the fact that a lot of homeowners in this country are under tremendous stress right now. According to RealityTrac (sic) [RealtyTrac], thatâs a company that sells mortgage data, foreclosures across the country are up a staggering 87 percent over this very same time last year.â
None of the networks gave credit to the supply-side tax cuts from the Bush administration. The July 12 rally was just a small part of the prolonged growth of the economy.
âIn stock market terms alone, this is now the longest consecutive uninterrupted stock market rally,â said Lawrence Kudlow on MSNBCâs âMorning Joeâ on July 13. âIt started in early 2003, so thatâs four and a half years. And itâs incredible how much wealth is being created out there and itâs unfortunate, really â almost tragic â that the president just doesnât get any credit for it at all because heâs got a lot to say on the economy.â