This Week’s News in Flux

If you check the wire-service stock market headlines as frequently as I do … well, then you should probably stop. Obviously what these headlines pass along is the most fleeting impression of a constantly shifting market and the various forces that apparently affect it; what I like about them is the convention dictating that whatever little fluctuation is going on must be tied to some big, sweeping explanation or trend. Which is of course forgotten a few hours later when the momentum shifts—and “optimism” gives way to a “sour mood” overnight. Here, for instance, are selected market-overview and related headlines from the past week.  What can you learn from them? I’m not sure. But I have a feeling that the stories they were attached to would tell you even less about the markets and what might move them next.

Stocks Post Biggest Jump in Two Months
Thursday, July 12, 5:38 p.m. ET

Consumers Keep Economy Afloat
Friday, July 13, 5:22 p.m. ET

U.S. Economy Not Out of the Woods
Saturday, July 14, 6:13 p.m. ET

Earnings Flood Could Lift Stocks
Sunday, July 15, 10:46 a.m. ET

Stocks Slump, Earnings Flood Hits Street
Monday, July 16, 4:56 p.m. ET

Stocks Rally, Street Shrugs Off Earnings
Tuesday, July 17, 2:37 p.m. ET

Stocks Climb, Investors See Silver Lining
Tuesday, July 17, 4:52 p.m. ET 

Stocks Rise on Optimism
Tuesday, July 17, 6:20 p.m. ET

Stocks Seen Opening Lower Amid Sour Mood
Wednesday, July 18, 8:17 a.m. ET

Stocks Weak as Gloomy Forecasts Weigh
Wednesday, July 18, 2:05 p.m. ET

Greenspan Says Economy Bottoming, Risks Remain
Wednesday, July 18, 5:56 p.m. ET

Stocks Gain, Buyers Upbeat
Thursday, July 19, 2:15 p.m. ET

Stocks Hold Gains, Buoyed by Nokia, Dell
Thursday, July 19, 4:16 p.m. ET

Gosh, what will happen next? Stay tuned, stay tuned . …