Headlines, Herds and the Market Rodeo

At the heart of most business news sites is the market report ... the hourly rundown of where the market is at and why.

It should be an easy and straightforward report to do. But often times it is not. Markets can be tricky things. You are talking about a herd ... not a single organism. And so assigning a single reason for the market's movement in one direction or another -- especially in a headline where you can't go into detail -- may be a little off the mark in some instances.

"So what ... you'd rather I just said 'Stocks Are Up' or 'Stocks Are Down' and leave it at that?" retorts our market writer (who moonlights as a stand-up comic. Honest).

Well, no. That doesn't sound like a very interesting read. You need a little taste of "why" in the head. So you try to throw a saddle on the herd and ride it the best you can. With luck, you stay on the trail most of the time. Sometimes you veer off, much to the delight of media critics and demanding readers.

Another reason to feel sorry for the plight of the market writer(or is that rider?).