The Appeal of Market Danger Numbers and Targets

You know what people really like in business news stories? Especially these days? Targets.

We ran a nice little interview with Art Cashin, UBS Financial Services director of floor operations, yesterday. The headline was "The S&P's New Danger Number." It drew tons of readers. That pattern happens a lot. If an analyst, guru, or pundit is throwing out a number ... people generally want to know what it is.

Of course it's the curiousity factor. But I bet it is also the specificity. In a world where people fudge and qualify and hedge, it's nice to have a hard and fast benchmark. It makes things simple.

Of course we have a lot of those types of pieces. This morning we had an duo interview on "Squawk Box." Ostensibly it was about housing (set up to talk about the Home Depot and Lowe's results). But the discussion, as most interviews on CNBC do, went on to market implications.

One analyst, Jeffrey Saut of Raymond James, threw out the Dow Theory ... the idea that a market trend up or down isn't real unless the Dow and the Dow Transport indexes are in lockstep. So he's looking for both indexes to pass their Jan. 6 highs ... roughly 9,015 for the Dow and 3,717 for the Dow Transport. (You can see his comments in the video. It's near the end).

Hard targets. People pay attention to that. Oh yeah ... Cashin's number was 870. (Click here for the Cashin Video Page)