Did CNBC Management give us a market signal?

“Fast Money” has been a major hit for CNBC. This is a show for active traders who like to trade stocks for quick profits. Hence the name “Fast Money”. The “experts” on this show are professionals traders who trade their own or their firms’ accounts. This lends both credibility and emotion to their pronouncements.  The anchor, Dylan Ratigan, does an excellent job keeping the show on a fast pace and interjecting as necessary with good humor.

“The Suze Orman Show” is a CNBC show of a very different kind. Suze Orman focuses her show on the personal financial problems faced by many Americans. Suze’s show tries very hard to persuade her audience to cut their credit card debts and to watch their spending.

So, in terms of risk taking, “Fast Money” and “The Suze Orman Show” can be considered to be at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Fast Money airs on CNBC at 5 pm EST and repeated at 8 pm EST. The Suze Orman Show has been aired by CNBC on the weekends.

2008 has been a terrible year for stock investors. Almost all US and International Equity Indices fallen in to bear market territory. In addition, sudden shifts in volatility have made active trading a dangerous practice. Not an ideal environment for “Fast Money”!

Presumably in an attempt to match the lower risk appetite of its audience, CNBC announced recently that, as of July 5, 2008, “Fast Money” would not be repeated at  8 pm EST. Instead, “The Suze Orman Show” would be aired at that time.

It is a tenet of investing folklore that the Business Press usually proves to be a reliable contrarian signal. For example, in 1982, the cover of  BusinessWeek asked whether equities were dead, just as a 30 year bull market in equities was emerging.

Will CNBC’s decision to promote lower risk on its network prove to be a contrarian signal for investors to add more risk to their investing approach? Only Time will tell!

Send your comments to [email protected]