We analyze methods for selecting topics in news articles to explain stock returns. We find, through empirical and theoretical results, that supervised Latent Dirichlet Allocation (sLDA) implemented through Gibbs sampling in a stochastic EM algorithm will often overfit returns to the detriment of the topic model. We obtain better out-of-sample performance through a random search of plain LDA models. A branching procedure that reinforces effective topic assignments often performs best. We test these methods on an archive of over 90,000 news articles about S&P 500 firms.