On a Monday afternoon a few weeks ago, Donald Trump was moved to discuss where Toyota builds its cars.
Wall Street's most beloved machine lit up. The Bloomberg terminal, the operating system of the financial industry, is now well-equipped to turn a Trump tweet into money.
Bloomberg's years-long partnership with Twitter means the terminals, which cost about $25,000 a year each for the company's more than 300,000 subscribers, now come with tools to track the president-elect's every market moving statement — and make money from them.
In typical Bloomberg fashion, you can customize your alerts for Trump tweets to see only when he mentions certain companies you are following. You can see, in real time, how the things he says translate into changing public sentiment on a company, and what happens to a stock, currency, or pretty much anything else being traded on markets at the time. And with the right screening, you can filter out his furious responses to SNL episodes and many praise-retweets.
After that Toyota tweet in early January, Bloomberg terminals showed that as Toyota's share price fell, the number of tweets about the company spiked, and the sentiment of the tweets turned sharply negative, according to Bloomberg's tool for analyzing Twitter content.
Toyota's share price (grey) and tweet volume (blue) alongside Twitter sentiment (green/red) after the Trump tweet.
These tools are being used more and more as Trump picks the corporate winners and losers of the day. It happened to Lockheed Martin when he criticized the price of the F-35 fighter jet, and to Boeing when he declared the price of a new Air Force One too high.
This stuff matters to investors — especially if they get be on the right side of the stock market moves that happen as a result. Many financial institutions forbid social media use at work, making Bloomberg terminals a lifeline for traders wanting to keep up with the President-elect.
Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase traders access tweets through their Bloomberg terminals, The Wall Street Journal reported last week, while just this month, the Japanese bank Mizuho gave its U.S. traders the ability to read tweets at work.
"He is publicly shaming people and companies," Peter Tchir, a managing director at Brean Capital, said in a note. "He is trying to sway companies in a very public manner." Investment banks now regularly rush out notes to clients based on Trump's tweets about companies.
After the President-elect tweeted about Toyota, the Japanese bank Nomura said in an note to clients that "this tweet does not mark the first time Mr Trump has intervened in a company's plans for the construction of a plant in Mexico, and we see the possibility of continued intervention in high-profile companies' plans for construction of Mexican plants after his inauguration."
A few days before Christmas, Trump weighed in on federal contracting, tweeting that the cost of the F-35 fighter plane was "tremendous" and that he was asking a rival defense contractor (Boeing, another past victim of a Trump-shaming) to work on a comparable plane, leading to a 2% share dip in after-market trading.
Again, the Bloomberg analysis showed that tweets about Lockheed went from just a few every 20 minutes, to well over 100 — and they were mostly negative.