March 5, 2014

When can social media lead financial markets?

When can social media lead financial markets?
Sci Rep. 2014;4:4213
Authors: Zheludev I, Smith R, Aste T

Social media analytics is showing promise for the prediction of financial markets. However, the true value of such data for trading is unclear due to a lack of consensus on which instruments can be predicted and how. Current approaches are based on the evaluation of message volumes and are typically assessed via retrospective (ex-post facto) evaluation of trading strategy returns. In this paper, we present instead a sentiment analysis methodology to quantify and statistically validate which assets could qualify for trading from social media analytics in an ex-ante configuration. We use sentiment analysis techniques and Information Theory measures to demonstrate that social media message sentiment can contain statistically-significant ex-ante information on the future prices of the S&P500 index and a limited set of stocks, in excess of what is achievable using solely message volumes.

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