October 08, 2015

Today in History: Charles Henry Dow starts the stock ticker obsession (1897)

John RobsonArchive

In an age obsessed with mathematics it’s not surprising that someone started tracking the prices of stocks and bonds. 

His name was Charles Henry Dow and he also founded the Wall Street Journal, which was a good idea.

But ever since he started that business with the tracking, we’ve been reading the entrails of those price movements and trying to figure out what “the market” was doing and what it might do next unless it didn’t and what it meant.

Not much, frankly. We’d be much better off ignoring the TSE and all that stuff and sticking to fundamentals in our business affairs, economic policy and our lives generally.


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commented 2015-10-09 13:48:03 -0400
The new high speed trading is one of the things that has killed the junior resource company business. Who wants to buy a penny stock when just as a press release comes out some high speed trader gets the press release and executes his buy or sell order before the rest of the investors are able to. Enough of these high-speeders kill the uptick price before the regular investors can blink.
Also, the big institutional investment bankers appear to control the gold price. Get a bit of internal or world strife, short gold, gold drops, buy gold back at lower price and take a profit on the difference. Then when gold is at a low, buy it and hold it to sell on an uptick. Big institutional investment banks deal in big volumes totally impossible for the individual investor and just a few bucks up or down make the long and short of it very profitable. And, the stock exchanges and securities commissions appear to turn a blind eye to this, could the large investment bankers have that much influence?