Originally created 09/12/99

More financial coverage fits readers' needs



People who work at The Augusta Chronicle like it when we can give readers what they have asked for. It makes life much more pleasant.

We think we have done that with two big additions this weekend. One is the bigger and better television book, which I wrote about last week. The other is the stock listings on Saturdays and Sundays.

You asked for weekly summaries of stocks and mutual funds, so for the first time we are doing that. In addition, we have split the listings, with stocks on Saturday and mutual funds Sunday.

The stock listings will give 52-week highs and lows as well as weekly percentage change. The tables also will list weekly gainers, losers, most active, volume surge and diary for the three largest U.S. exchanges; a breakout on 30 stocks of local interest; weekly snapshots of stock market indexes; and the usual exchange rates, money rates and commodity prices.

The mutual fund listings will track the daily change as well as the weekly percentage change. There will be more than 3,000 funds listed, including the 20 biggest mutual funds ranked by four-week, 12-month and five-year returns. We also will have leaders and laggards for Long Term U.S. Bond Funds and General Taxable Bond Funds, important funds for conservative or retiring investors.

"We're more than tripling the number of our mutual funds and almost doubling our stocks on the weekend," said Dale Hokrein, The Chronicle's business editor. "It makes for a better business section.

"Readers want it. We've wanted to do this for a long time."

We can never print enough financial information to please everyone because there is so much out there. So we try to pick and choose things that are of the most interest to the most people.

Interest in business news has grown over the years. Most of us have some kind of interest in the stock market, whether through our company pension plan, or 401(k) plan, life insurance or just dabbling in the market. Even people who once didn't know a stock from a bond are asking for more and more information.

So our coverage of business has grown. Besides our stocks and mutual fund tables, you will find business stories in all sections of the paper, from sports to Your Life to 1A to the monthly Augusta Business Chronicle.

"I like business news. It's a growing part of newspaper coverage," said Mr. Hokrein, who has been business editor for about 18 months. "More and more business news is affecting the average reader.

"When Alan Greenspan talks, even regular folks listen. Wall Street affects everyone."

Mr. Hokrein leads a talented staff that includes Damon Cline, Frank Witsil and Heidi Coryell. They tell you about big business, small business, new business, trends and deals.

"People are interested in what goes on in these companies we write about," said Mr. Hokrein. "There are a lot of good stories in business coverage."

Read them every day in The Chronicle. And check out our expanded weekend listings. We think you will find them helpful.