Investments Course Innovation - Using the Dow Jones News/Retrieval Service

Article excerpt

Investments Course Innovation--Using the Dow Jones News/Retrieval Service

As the financial crisis of October 19, 1987, demonstrates, investment conditions can change virtually overnight. Yet a normal textbook takes months, if not years, to write and revise. Consequently, a gap grows between reality and the information found in investment textbooks. (As a case in point, Investments: An Introduction, by Herbert Mayo, which has a 1988 copyright, states that a crisis similar to that of the 1929 stock market crash is highly unlikely.)

Many investment instructors try to bring in reality by requiring the reading of financial publications. Problems arise, however, in that:

a) Delivery is delayed until a journal or other financial publication can add students to its mailing list.

b) Journals deal with news to which the market may already have reacted.

c) A journal's limited space requires that only the most crucial information be provided and that the story background be cut short. This lessens its value for students completing term papers. Furthermore, a journal does not indicate when the last story on the company or security was reported in it, making research difficult.

d) Focusing solely upon a particular journal leaves out a wide range of information available from other sources; these could be Barrons, The Associated Press and various brokerage houses.

e) The search for new information on s specific industry, economic condition or governmental-unit pronouncement may also be quite difficult without prior knowledge suggesting that new information would be forthcoming on a specific day.

f) Little is provided on a continuing basis in the way of performance information relative to a given industry, analysts' recommendations and insider trading data. Yet classroom, business and academic research reports are continually being produced.

Fortunately, through the Dow Jones News/Retrieval Service, it is possible to have the most/recent information from a wide variety of sources available to students on the very first day of class. This gives both breadth and depth of coverage. Dow Jones News/Retrieval delivers the facts, figures, analyses and insights motivating the investment community. Reliable, detailed information on companies, industries and government agencies--both in the United States and abroad--is available from this source. In fact, one can get tomorrow's news today, since articles prepared for tomorrow's Wall Street Journal--the most widely used by instructors--enter the service as soon as they are prepared. This writer is unaware of any other source which provides as timely and as comprehensive a coverage of business, national and world events.

A sampling of the more popular commands of, and data generated by, the service includes:

//BUSINESS--continuously updated business and financial news.

//DJNEWS--stories on specific companies and industries.

//CQE--current quotes on stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

//CMR--capital markets and financial future reports.

//EPS--earning forecasts for 3,000+ corporations.

//MG--detailed financial data on 4,000+ firms, with industry data.

//INSIDER--information about 6,000+ corporations on the trading activities of those that the SEC classifies as insiders.

//MMS--Forecasts of monetary and economic indicators.

Using the Service

Five News/Retrieval utilization techniques, describing how the service is being incorporated within the classroom, are outlined below.

1. Double-checking the lecture-related databases before class enhances presentation quality and reliability. For instance, it is possible to enter financial management classrooms with information on that day's corporate restructuring announcements and investment classrooms with the latest Dow Jones industrial average. …