Reporting share price movements in general news bulletins on television and radio is pointless.
Most viewers and listeners don’t care about individual share prices.
But the information is of no use to those who do care. Nobody is going to run out and buy or sell shares if the reporter says “Telecom is down two cents at $2.12”.
A share owner will want to check this information before acting.
Share trading professionals will have immediate access to better and fuller information. Even keen amateur traders want more than a raw price.
So why do news bulletins broadcast this information?
It could be filler. Some TV bulletins flick up the numbers on the way into or out of commercial breaks. Lord knows New Zealand broadcaster struggle to fill their long news bulletins with worthwhile material.
Reporting share price movements also sends an important signal to audiences that the broadcasters are aware of business news and determined to take it seriously.
Can you think of any other reasons?