Wisdom of Twitter Crowds: Predicting Stock Market Reactions to FOMC Meetings via Twitter Feeds
With the rise of social media, investors have a new tool to measure sentiment in real time. However, the nature of these sources of data raises serious questions about its quality. Since anyone on social media can participate in a conversation about markets—whether they are informed or not—it is possible that this data may have very little information about future asset prices. In this paper, we show that this is not the case by analyzing a recurring event that has a high impact on asset prices: Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. We exploit a new dataset of tweets referencing the Federal Reserve and show that the content of tweets can be used to predict future returns, even after controlling for common asset pricing factors. To gauge the economic magnitude of these predictions, the authors construct a simple hypothetical trading strategy based on this data. They find that a tweetbased asset-allocation strategy outperforms several benchmarks, including a strategy that buys and holds a market index as well as a comparable dynamic asset allocation strategy that does not use Twitter information.