Frontrunning Trump’s Tweets Insider Trading in Action

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Many people have worried about President-elect Trump’s Twitter habit and how it might be used to enrich others. Today we have a bit of evidence that some insider trading is happening.

Today at 1:14 pm Eastern time, President-elect Trump emitted this tweet:

Trump Toyota Tweet Frontrunning Trump's Tweets

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(The time shown in the tweet is Pacific time.  Add three hours to get Eastern time.)

And here’s what happened to Toyota’s stock price:

Toyota Stock Price Frontrunning Trump's Tweets

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Note something funny. The stock price hit its low for the day at 1:14 pm, the exact time of Mr. Trump’s tweet. The drop started two full minutes earlier. Who do you suppose was trading then? (Don’t take my word for it. Visit Yahoo finance at here and look for yourself.)

A number of people have worried openly about this sort of thing. Here’s a teeny bit of evidence that there may be some leaking of this information. In stock markets today, two minutes is approximately forever thanks to high-frequency trading. Some folks made a bundle in a few minutes today.

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About Tony Lima

Retired after teaching economics at California State Univ., East Bay (Hayward, CA). Ph.D., economics, Stanford. Also taught MBA finance at the California University of Management and Technology. Occasionally take on a consulting project if it's interesting. Other interests include wine and technology.