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Stock market tools on News' Business web page

The online Business section of The Buffalo News has some very interesting tools - but they are a little hard to find.

Near the top right corner of the Business home page is a section called "Stock Watchlist," a list of big moving stocks of the day. In the bottom right corner of that section is a green button called "Markets."

Clicking that green button opens a range of stock market tools that are in real time and are fun to navigate.  For instance, the first button on the top bar is "Buffalo Local Index."  Clicking that takes you to an interactive page built around the public companies that are either headquartered in Western New York or have a substantial presence.

The next button, "Markets," takes you to a real-time page on the stock market.

There are also buttons on "Mutual funds," different market "Sectors,"  and "Rates," which is loans, mortgages, and CD's.

But the one I like to use is the last botton, called "Tools."  Here you create a password (it's free), and then you can set up a portfolio that is tracked in real time. You can put stocks and funds you really own, or set up a fantasy portfolio. I set up a fantasy portfolio with $1,000 a few weeks ago. I 'bought' Ford, GE, Toyota, Verizon and Yahoo. Today, I'm up about $28.

It's fun, and it sharpens your focus on what's happening in the market.

- Grove Potter


Sweet smell of tradition

The sweet smell of oats cooking is familiar to all who work or visit near the General Mills plant on the city's watefront at the mouth of the Buffalo River. For 109 years the General mills plant has been grinding flour and, for much of that time, making Cheerios and other cereals.

The reason it started here is obvious. Lake freighters bringing grain from the midwest had to off-load in Buffalo because there was no way around Niagara Falls - except the slow-going, low-freight Erie General mills2Barge Canal. Flour and cereal made here could be easily shipped by rail or truck.

But why has it remained here? Modern plants have been built elsewhere, and the grain could be milled closer to the farms. The answer: the people. There are third-generation workers who love the plant and know its value to the city. General mills 3They have helped keep it efficient and modern. Plant manager David Tincher credits the labor force with making the plant among the best in the General Mills family.

The sweet smell of a proud tradition.

- Grove Potter


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