Michael Regan is a Bloomberg writer and editor based in New York, where he puts out a daily column on the United States and global stock markets.
In Depth recently spoke with Michael to discuss his daily routine and the challenges he faces as a writer covering a very active, competitive field.
You’re currently putting out a daily market column for Bloomberg. When did you start writing this column, and what prompted it?
I started writing it in the middle of March. It was really the brainchild of my bosses, executive editors Laurie Hays and Laura Zelenko. We had always taken a “just the facts” approach to our daily market stories, which I’ve worked on since I started at Bloomberg in 2007. While those daily wrap-ups will always be sort of the tent poles for our coverage, Laura and Laurie also thought we could add a lot of value by having columnists who write in a more entertaining way.
How do you find fresh topics to write about every single day?
Luckily for me, the stock market offers an almost endless supply of column ideas. I like to focus on the macro –what the main indexes and sectors of the market are doing, what the major trends are and what is likely to happen next. Then there are also a million and one stories to be told with individual stocks.
What challenges do you face with the column?
The difficulty comes in narrowing down the topics and choosing the most important issues of the day. I get up around 4:30 a.m., and during my commute to work, I start reading the news and my inbox, which is usually filling up with research and notes from traders, analysts and others in the market. Once I arrive at work, I get a sense of what the futures and overseas markets are doing and then decide on the topic very early, with the goal of getting the column published before noon.
What ongoing trends do you see on the stock market? Are there recurring storylines and themes that you find yourself coming back to?
The biggest trend I’ve dealt with has been this sell-off in some of the bull-market’s best-performing, speculative growth stocks, whether you like to call them “momentum,” “high-beta” or whatever. Stocks like Facebook and Netflix and all the biotech companies have really taken a beating since early March, late February. It raises a lot of questions about the entire market and whether it is just a rotation out of risky companies into more stable value stocks, or if it’s something more that may portend an end to the bull market. It’s a trend with a lot of moving pieces, so it’s given me a lot of fodder for columns.
Obviously, there are countless writers out there covering the U.S. and global stock markets. What do you think differentiates your coverage?
I think just walking into Bloomberg headquarters every day gives me a huge advantage over writers for other publications. For one thing, the terminal itself is such an unbelievable source of information. I’ve been working here for seven years and there are usually not many days that go by when I don’t learn some new function or way to find useful data and analytics. It feels like I’m a sports reporter and I have a courtside seat, when all of my competitors are trying to cover the game from the parking lot.