对冲基金正越来越多地使用Dataminr和Social Market Analytics等公司的分析，目的是在源源不断的推文以及其他社交媒体帖子中发现隐藏的交易信号。举例来说，繁德公司的客户可以把Social Market Analytics基于社交媒体推导出的信心指数纳入自己的股票看板，和波动幅度等传统指标放在一起。
周一上午刚过8点，Social Market Analytics和彭博的推特信心指数陡然跌至零以下；8:08前后，成交量猛增58倍，这也远早于特朗普发推的时间。
市场上如此之早地出现悲观失望情绪有几个原因。大约在8:02，几个推特账户发出警告称，Zacks Investment Research下调了洛克希德-马丁的评级。特朗普在福斯新闻上说的话也开始在推特上流传开来。《Aviation Week》杂志上周日发表的文章也提到了此事，并以这位当选总统的推文作为这篇文章的后续报道。
这些推文足以在社交媒体信心探测器上触发预警，进而通过对冲基金的算法体现出来。按照这些算法，当推特上的负面情绪超过某一水平时就会抛售股票。比如说，上午8:05，彭博的推特信心指标从几分钟前的零一下变为-0.24；而该指标再次触及这个点位已经是8:36，也就是特朗普就F-35发推文10分钟后。同时，Social Market Analytics注意到它的指标从8:15开始就已跌至零以下——该公司对有关股票的在线交流打分，依据是和正常情况相比这些交流的内容有多乐观或多悲观。
Social Market Analytics首席执行官乔·基茨说：“专门把推特用在金融方面的人数一直在上升。特推的预测能力真的开始成熟起来。”对冲基金已经开始建立并监视容易受特朗普及其他政治言论影响的个股名单，就像医药股因为希拉里·克林顿的推特暴跌后人们所做的那样。基茨指出，特朗普用推特左右市场的能力促使更多投资者采用社交媒体分析法，这进一步放大了市场对推特的反应，原因是越来越多的人开始基于这些分析作出交易决策。他说：“他对我们公司的影响好的不能再好了——请继续发推特，总统先生。”
如果说我们对唐纳德·特朗普有什么认识的话，那就是他喜欢取悦大众。实际上，特朗普有关波音的推特发表一天后，犹他州报纸《Standard Examiner》编辑部就发表了题为《要是特朗普的下一篇推文说到F-35了怎么办？》（What if Trump’s next tweet is about the F-35?）预测性文章，而且很快一语成谶——特朗普随即在公众场合对F-35提出批评，12月9日在密歇根州大急流城的集会就是一例。
Even before Donald Trump went on Twitter and posted his market-cratering tweet lambasting Lockheed Martin‘s F-35 fighter jets, the company’s stock was already falling.
At 8:26 a.m. on Monday, Trump tweeted that Lockheed’s “F-35 program and cost is out of control,” referring to the defense contractor’s military equipment deals with the government.
By then, though, shares of Lockheed Martin LMT -0.56% had already lost about $1, sparking accusations of insider trading—some suggested that Trump had tipped someone off about which company he would next target on Twitter TWTR 2.32% . How else could investors have known to sell Lockheed Martin before Trump’s tweet, which ultimately pushed the stock down nearly 2.5%?
It turns out, though, that Twitter is not only the place to read about the President-elect’s latest idea, it’s also a good tool for predicting what Trump will tweet about next—and what stocks are about to fall. And while many investors sold Lockheed Martin shares after Trump tweeted, hedge funds likely dumped the stock sooner.
Hedge funds are increasingly using analytics from companies like Dataminr and Social Market Analytics to uncover trading signals buried in the firehose of tweets and other social media posts. Fidelity customers, for example, can add Social Market Analytics’ sentiment indicators derived from social media to their stock dashboards, along with traditional metrics such as volatility.
And there were plenty of clues that Donald Trump was likely to attack Lockheed Martin, which hedge funds no doubt picked up on. For starters, Trump had made almost identical comments on Fox News Sunday an entire day before he tweeted them. “If you look at the F-35 program with the money, the hundreds of billions of dollars, and it’s out of control,” Trump said on the weekend television show (see clip posted on Twitter below).
Shortly after 8 a.m. on Monday, Twitter sentiment indicators from Social Market Analytics and Bloomberg suddenly spiked negative, while trading volume abruptly shot up 58-fold at about 8:08 a.m.—well before Trump’s tweet.
There were a few reasons the sentiment turned negative so early. Around 8:02 a.m., several Twitter accounts began posting alerts that Zacks Investment Research had downgraded Lockheed Martin stock. And Trump’s statements on Fox began circulating both on Twitter as well as in an article published Sunday by Aviation Week, which was later updated with the President-elect’s tweet.
Then at approximately 8:12 a.m. Monday, about 14 minutes before Trump tweeted about Lockheed Martin’s fighter jets, influential media personality Jim Cramer of CNBC expressed surprise that the market seemed to be ignoring the Fox News segment: “LMT shrugging odd ‘out of control’ cost comment on J-35 by Trump,” Cramer wrote in a tweet (which features a typo for F-35) that has since been deleted, according to people who saw and saved a record of the original tweet.
Those tweets were enough to trigger red flags among the social sentiment detectors, which in turn feed into hedge funds’ algorithms programmed to sell when Twitter negativity crossed a certain threshold. At 8:05 a.m., for example, Bloomberg’s Twitter sentiment metric jumped from 0 a few minutes earlier to -0.24; it would not reach that level again until 8:36 a.m.—10 minutes after Trump’s F-35 tweet. Meanwhile, Social Market Analytics, which scores online chatter about stocks based on how positive or negative it is compared to the norm, noticed its metrics trend negative beginning at 8:15 a.m.
For some traders—or computerized trading algorithms—just seeing those sentiment indicators head downward would be enough to sell Lockheed Martin shares. No need to wait and see if and what Trump tweets next: For hedge funds, the earlier they can act and stay farther ahead of the rest of the market, the more money they can make.
“The amount of people using Twitter specifically for finance has increased,” says Social Market Analytics CEO Joe Gits. “The predictive power of Twitter is really maturing.” Hedge funds are beginning to create and monitor lists of stocks vulnerable to Trump or other political commentary, just as some did with pharmaceutical stocks that swooned off Hillary Clinton tweets. Trump’s ability to move the market with his tweets has driven more investors to use social media analytics, adds Gits—which further amplifies the market’s reaction to tweets as even more people trade off them. “He couldn’t be any better for my business—keep tweeting away, Mr. President,” Gits says.
But you didn’t necessarily need to work at a hedge fund or have access to professional trading signals to make money from Trump’s tweet. The biggest predictor actually came a week ago, when Trump tweeted to “cancel” plans for a new Air Force One because “costs are out of control” for the Boeing BA -0.32% plane. Scores of people on Twitter responded to the President-elect suggesting that he also cancel Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program, which is now expected to cost more than $1 trillion overall.
If there’s anything we’ve learned about Donald Trump, it’s that he likes to please the crowd. Indeed, the day after the Boeing tweet, the editorial board of the Standard Examiner, a Utah news outlet, made a forecast that would soon prove true, in an article titled, “What if Trump’s next tweet is about the F-35?” Trump soon dialed up his criticism of the fighter jets during public appearances, such as at a Dec. 9 rally in Grand Rapids, Mich. last week.
Trump supporters applauded the comments—though even those who are amateur investors could foresee how Lockheed Martin’s stock price would react. “Yessss @realDonaldTrump calling out the F35 program,” one person tweeted during the rally, then followed up with a second post: “Although I shouldn’t be too happy. I got a couple shares in $lmt.”
Now, Wall Street is already predicting that after Lockheed, Walmart WMT 0.18% will be Trump’s next target. So far, Walmart’s social media sentiment remains positive. But if that changes, expect hedge funds to get out faster than Trump can tweet about it.