8 tweets that moved markets

Infographic: Amanda Shendruk on the power of 140 characters


Activist investor Carl Icahn has been on Twitter for two months, but it took just two tweets in a single day for him to be credited with fuelling stock price movements worth nearly $17 billion—or $8.5 billion per 140-characters-or-less message.

Icahn’s first tweet, on Aug. 13, revealed he had a “large position” in Apple Inc., which he said was “extremely undervalued.” The same day, he tapped out another tweet that mentioned a meeting with CEO Tim Cook to discuss a share buyback. Apple’s stock jumped nearly 5 per cent. Last week, Icahn reiterated the same message in another tweet. “Tim believes in buyback and is doing one. What will be discussed is magnitude,” he wrote. (Apple shares remained mostly flat after that message.)

It’s most likely just a case of Icahn using technology to do what Wall Streeters have always done by “talking your book,” which refers to non-insiders touting their investments to the press or other investors. And there’s no material information being released, since Apple has already disclosed a $100-billion share buyback program. Even so, Apple shareholders might want to consider becoming one of @Carl_C_Icahn’s 70,000-plus followers—just in case he types something else that moves the market.



8 tweets that moved markets

  1. If something as facile as a tweet can move markets to the tune of billions almost instantaneously, it shows just how fickle and detached from reality financial markets have become. This is hardly a positive trend.

    • This is an great example of how the rich elite controls the market while the common investor has very little next to no power or influence at all.

      • I’m afraid it’s always been like that to some degree, but never more so than now.

  2. “Hey, Carl,” said Tim Cook, as Carl Icahn was leaving the meeting, “Could you do us all a favour and tweet something about this meeting. You know what I mean!”

    “Will do. Was already thinking about that.” answered Carl, and on his way he went.

  3. Twitter 101: 140 characters, not 140 words. Infographic is somehow correct.

    • Thanks for pointing that out—typo!

  4. What true value was created? This is a great example of what is wrong with the global economy, this money market economic system which is divorced from labour, productivity, sustainability or the true cost of anything. This system is killing our planet very quickly, but who cares if the stock goes up.

    • Shhhh, don’t spoil the party. Everyone’s moochual funds have been doing just great the past 3 years. People are starting to dream of Freedom 55 again. As the Wall Street bigwigs are wont to say, “Shear the sheep, don’t slaughter them.”

  5. Once again I’ll point out that this just illuminates the problem of too many traders, not enough investors.

    And once again I’ll point out that one of the easiest ways to handle this would be to institute a taxation regime where capital and investment gains are initially taxed at a rate of 100%, with that rate dropping at about 1%/month that the investment is held.

    This would force investors to look at each investment over the long term, and company fundamentals would become a priority.