Economy

Bloomberg terminals now show Trump tweets: Business preps for Trump

The new feature at Bloomberg is another example of how the business world is approaching the Trump presidency and its relationship with social media. 

A Bloomberg terminal displays news while traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in May 2013. Bloomberg launched a new feature that tracks President Trump's tweets.
Brendan McDermid/Reuters/File
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President Donald Trump said at an inauguration ball Friday that he thinks he'll continue tweeting "as a way of bypassing dishonest media."

Wall Street is ready. 

Bloomberg terminals recently launched a partnership with Twitter, enabling traders to track and trade off Mr. Trump's tweets.

The new feature of the financial reporting system is just another example of how the business world is grappling with the new reality of the Trump presidency – an unpredictability in his pronouncements together with the power of his 140 character missives – which is forcing some companies to rethink their relationship with social media.

"He is publicly shaming people and companies," Peter Tchir, a managing director at Brean Capital, told BuzzFeed News. "He is trying to sway companies in a very public manner.”

The financial company published a how-to guide in December for its 300,000 subscribers, detailing how to monitor Trump’s tweets in real time on the software system.

Its users can now customize alerts for Trump’s tweets, filtering out SNL complaints and praise-retweets while tracking his statements on certain companies. The guide also outlines how his comments translate into public sentiments, which are critical to some trading strategies. 

“The trading opportunity in a president who tweets isn’t so much in the immediate tweet as much as the fact that he’s starting a conversation about an issue,” Jamie Wise, founder of Buzz Indexes, a tool that identifies investment opportunities based on quantitative analysis of comments made across social media, told the Wall Street Journal last week.

The terminals, which cost about $25,000 a year, started working with Twitter about three years ago. But it highlights a shift in thought in the Trump era, as many financial institutions traditionally prohibit using social media at work. 

“You don’t want your traders who you’re paying a ton of money to be on Twitter all day,” Bruce Klaw, an assistant professor at the University of Denver, told the Wall Street Journal.

But Trump's brief messages have an outsized influence, as traders have learned to their dismay.

One month after he won the election, Trump lashed out attacks on Lockheed Martin, the maker of the F-35 fighter, that sent the company’s stock to nosedive from the opening bell, losing $4 billion in share value at one point and ending up with more than $6 below the previous close. 

As The Christian Science Monitor's Laurent Belsie noted in December:

Lockheed Martin’s share price nosedived from the opening bell, losing at one point $4 billion in share value – or $28.6 million per character of the Trump tweet. By the close of trading, the share price had rebounded somewhat but was still more than $6 below the previous close. 

“This is a new type of risk, call it presidential tweet risk,” Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank, told Politico hours after Trump’s F-35 tweet. 

For now, some public relations experts are calling for new media strategies.

“We're in a new era of communications,” John Murray, partner at Monument Policy Group, a lobbying and PR firm, told the Hill Thursday. “A tweet came out, our stock price is changing, reporters are calling.... You don't have the luxury of debating about it.”

“I can’t think of a more important media strategy than this one today,” David Marin, managing principal of Podesta Group, told the Hill. “His bully pulpit is Twitter. You ignore that at your peril.” 

Others say traders need to stop overreacting. “I equate it to seeing a scary movie for the first time,” Steve Quirk, executive vice president of TD Ameritrade, told the Monitor. “It scares you. But the 17th time you see it, it's not scary anymore.”