So far, I've been learning a good amount of things at my job. I think the most important thing is that information is key. The analysts and traders stay on top of everything and this means keeping track of tons of stocks, reading many 10-k's, calling up people from around the country, and basically trying to find out as much information is possible.
Everyone reads the Wall Street Journal, that is a must. Besides that, everyone has other sources of information. They all use Bloomberg and read many of the news stories off of there. The traders talk to other traders to see what's being whispered and any preliminary information on earnings. The analysts talk to other analysts that they know, read 10-k's all the time, and listen to conference calls when companies release their earnings. It's pretty amazing how much information they have to keep on top of. During one day an analyst might listen in (and ask a question or two) on two to three conference calls, depending if it's earnings season or not, and then take more conference calls with management of specific companies. We're a big enough firm where we can also bring management in to see us and then the analysts can have a more personal meeting with them. Besides all of this, they keep track of breaking news and how stocks are reacting throughout the day. My reuters station has about 50 tickers of stocks I'm watching. The analysts all have at least a few hundred!
The traders also track these stocks and they also have to keep on top of technical analysis reports and charts.
Right now I barely have enough time to scan a few news articles! At first I was hesistant because I thought they wanted me to only focus on the trades/operations part, but the main trader is showing me more things. Now I feel more comfortable reading news stories and looking at charts. When I first started, I would only quickly glance at a news story and then quickly go back to the operations work.
Information is key!