Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wising Up to the Ways of Wall Street

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Wising Up to the Ways of Wall Street

Article excerpt

Bowen (charlesbowen@compuserve.com) is a West Virginia journalist and 30-year veteran of newspapers. He is host of the daily Internet News syndicated radio.

Quicken's Stock Search feature enables business journalists to compare and contrast companies

Everybody's afraid of something. And if you're a business writer or editor, you have a lot of fears to choose from. You may know everything there is to know about labor unions, corporate politics, retail, and manufacturing, and yet lie awake at night thinking of how little you know about the stock market.

So let the Internet help you wise up to the workings of Wall Street. A new Stock Search feature from publishers of the highly successful Quicken financial software package will not only fill in the gaps in your investment savvy but also help you locate specific stocks for your reporting.

The tool enables you to define criteria for stocks - such as industry group, valuation, growth rate, financial strength, and so on - then choose from a generated list. This can be very useful if you need to find companies for use in examples.

For instance, if you're writing about the clothing industry, you can find publicly traded apparel and accessories stores that have been particularly successful recently in the eyes of investors. Or do you need to see how publicly traded firms in your region stack up against each other? A Stock Evaluator option enables you to compare from two to 30 stocks against each other.

To use the service, visit the Web site http://www.quicken.com/investments/stocks/search) and click on the EasyStep Search to get started. This feature walks you through the most important variables, one step at a time, explaining them as it goes. Set any or all the variables in the feature's six steps, pressing the Next button at the bottom of each page.

The first screen invites you to choose one or more industry classes for your search, selecting from a drop-down list. Or if you don't want to narrow the search by industry group, select the "All Industries" option from the list.

Step 2 lets you select a Market Capitalization factor, referring to the total value of shares outstanding. (Regarding this gauge of a company's size, the site notes that companies of similar size often share characteristics that are demonstrated in their stock's behavior.)

The next screen deals with Valuation Factors, including price-to-earnings, price-to-book, and price-to-sales ratios, with definitions of each. …

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