Three Cheers For Percentages

Just for the record, I want to say that I love the headline atop the stock market story on the right. Not because the market is doing well, but because it says, simply, that stocks are up “3 percent.”

Not that the Dow Jones was up 322 points. Or the S&P was up 38 points. Or Nasdaq was up 100 points. None of which means a thing to non-experts. Just a nice, simple “3 percent.”

I’d like this to become the new standard for nonspecialist publications. On first reference, and in headlines, describe market ups and downs in percentage terms. Then provide the exact numbers later in the text. Everyone would get used to this really fast, and it would convey the rough magnitude of the change way better than raw numbers. Who’s with me?

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