"Stocks added to losses across the board Friday, as weakness in energy and materials trumped a better-than-expected monthly government jobs report and amid nervousness ahead of next week's presidential election."
Let's parse: "Stocks added to losses. . ." What? Stocks were up yesterday, so adding to what losses? ". . .as weakness in energy and materials trumped a better-than-expected monthly government jobs report. . ." This is really a bit of tea leaf reading here, isn't it? One was goodish and one was baddish, so the baddish one is why the market is down? ". . .and amid nervousness ahead of next week's presidential election." Hunh? Nervous about President Obama winning? Or losing? After all, the DOW has doubled since Obama's election, Mitt Romney's lauded business experience, notwithstanding. How in the world do they know that traders are nervous about the election?
Anyway, I just kind of find this sort of soothsaying kind of hilarious. This is a fairly mild example of the vagueness usually present in these blurbs. But, if stocks were to pare losses or even unexpectedly surge by the end of the day, they'll just revise all of the above to reflect what happened. No one will hold against them what they sussed out incorrectly, nobody will remember. Usually--on any given day when the market has fluctuated back and forth across the line--you can read these revised blurbs while the opposite reality is happening before your eyes. And tomorrow, they're still writing these "best guess" stories.
Writing for the business press must be the second most secure job after writing on the weather. You never have to guess correctly to keep your job!