CNBC's Schacknow: When I'm Right, I'm Right

I Got It Right!: I don’t often brag about getting something right, since that is, in fact, what I’m hired to do. (If the opposite happens too often, you’ll notice this space become suddenly and swiftly blank ..)

Yet, in our breaking news world of swift interpretation, it’s reassuring to see some other trusted news source come to the same conclusion you did. When they don’t - well, have you ever noticed how often I mention antacids? It happened today with our monthly coverage and crunching of the auto sales numbers - a task I don’t particularly love (if you’ve got the time and the inclination, see my rant on why this is the case. (t’s not true that I get paid by the hit).

DaimlerChrysler was the first automaker to report January sales. Per usual practice, we adjust for the number of selling days - in this case, 25 this year, 24 last year. We plug that and the sales numbers into our magic spreadsheet, and we get the per-day percentage change compared to the prior year - in this case, -0.6%. One news source I trust very much came out with its own blurb on the auto sales numbers - and they were completely different. I gulped. Rechecked my figures. Sweated a little. Finally decided that mine were right.

About a half hour later, the source issued a correction: they’d reversed the number of sales days for this year and last. The correction matched my numbers exactly. Phew!!

How To Make Stocks Go Up: Logic tells us that our production efforts should have nothing to do with what happens to the major stock averages. Logic also tells you that when your favorite team is playing well, and you say, “Hey, they’re playing really well!”, it isn’t your fault when they suddenly go into the tank. But you wonder.

This morning, I was doing our market factoids and I saw that the Dow was close to an all time intraday high but not really moving very much.

So I wrote “Dow Trading Close To Intraday Record”. No sooner had I dropped it in the rundown than the Dow soared past the previous record - so fast that I quickly looked at CNBC air, terrified that my now-incorrect factoid was airing. It wasn’t. I was able to change it and it aired correctly.

I’m sure I had nothing to do with the Dow’s sudden rise. I think.