February 2018 – Talk of the Town: News Content and Functionality

While a dwindling number of investors read physical newspapers today, many still rely on daily news coverage to aid in their investing decisions. To meet this demand, brokerages make news content a commonplace feature among their online resources, many dedicating entire site sections to house this vital content. This month’s e-Monitor Report reviews the various news resources offered by the firms in our coverage group, with a focus on the information and features provided within the centralized news centers. Firms range considerably in their news offerings: while all 18 firms offer some degree of news resources on their private sites, only 56% provide public-facing content, a concerning percentage given the importance of—and consumers’ increasing demand for—open-access investment information. Further, not every firm that houses private site news content does so within a centralized site section.

In terms of news content, all firms reviewed provide general market or economic news, and almost 75% provide sector- or industry-specific articles. Two-thirds of firms present stories in designated categories within their private site news centers to organize the considerable volume of material and to help clients find specific articles. The vast majority of firms go a step further in helping clients locate specific materials by offering some degree of search functionality, the most common being the ability to search by symbol and keyword. Less common features include the ability to search for news content according to holdings and watch lists, as well as the ability to set news alerts and save articles.

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