Wall Street trading firms use digital signals to identify corporate actions or anticipate Black Swan events that could create volatility in the financial markets.
A sudden interest in a topic suggests something interesting may be happening with the company, such as M&A, bankruptcy, lawsuit, strike or a related news event.
Often, the digital signals are triggered prior to a news release and are caused by a sudden surge in digital activity around a specific topic, including web searches, video streams, Tweets with specific terms, or digital media news references.
Think of it as YouTube streaming old videos by insiders who know a specific company is about to buy them, or Google searches by union leaders who are planning a company strike and are trying to find information on the firm.
Another example might be a sudden burst in search activity or website clicks that suggest the company is going bankrupt.
Traders use this intelligence to gain enormous advantages over market participants who were unaware of the heightened activity. Those in the know can execute a trade often before the information is released by the financial media or insiders. Speed is an enormous advantage because if traders can take a position in the stock prior to everyone else becoming aware, they stand to make a lot of money.
In building FreightWaves and SONAR, we were inspired by two of Michael Lewis’ hits: Flash Boys and MoneyBall. In these books, Lewis talks about how much speed and access to data modelling provides players who use it to drive decisions and actions.
Having access to information and context sooner than other participants can enable a logistics provider to offer more dependable on-time services, identify market risks and enjoy better market pricing than competitors offer.
Plus, with supply-chains under constant attack from geo-political, economic and climate risks, having information as close to real-time as possible gives logistics providers an edge over the competition in responding to these risks.
We built digital signals for transportation and logistics to provide our journalists and analytics team with advanced alerts of events. We focused on 500 topics that are relevant for freight transportation and 200 companies that are significant enough so that if something happens to influence these events, it will have a market impact. The alerts have paid off for our team, especially our journalists.
On September 10, 2019, our Lineage Logistics signal shot up, suggesting something was happening with the company. On September 18, 2019, the cold-chain warehousing firm announced an acquisition of assets from Netherlands based Van Soest Coldstores.
We saw the same thing happen right before the NEMF bankruptcy. On February 7, 2019, interest in the LTL carrier shot up. In fact, interest in NEMF had been minimal before that. On February 11, 2019 NEMF filed for bankruptcy.
This past week, we saw A. Duie Pyle rise on the news of their West Coast expansion and partnership with Oak Harbor Freight Lines, Inc.
While Signals are important, we’ve also added filtered Twitter content into the SONAR platform.
Twitter is a great platform for modern discourse, but there is also a lot of noise.
To make it easier for our journalists to get up-to-date information and context, we developed algorithmic-based filtering of Tweets based on user (who is the original source) and term.
Through this relationship, we are able to continuously monitor 30,000+ Twitter accounts, looking for Tweets about 60 major terms in freight, supply-chain, and logistics. A large part of the list includes highly-influential global leaders, organizations, and media outlets. We have also added journalists from the industry (including media rivals), company execs, thought leaders, association leaders (ATA, OOIDA, TIA, Afa, WIT, TCA, etc.), state and Federal governments (FEMA, DOT, FMCSA, FAA, DHS, USDA, etc.), and other freight media outlets.
This information is then algorithmically served up to SONAR users if it is relevant for users in the industry, based on the filters they have specified.
The original concept was to give FreightWaves journalists a speed advantage in being alerted to breaking news. But all SONAR users have access to the same feature. Recently, we added the ability for filtered tweets to scroll across the screen in an expanded or reduced window.
We release new features and datasets weekly. Zach Strickland and I dive into the weekly release in our “This Week in SONAR” segment you can find on FreightWaves TV, YouTube, or in the SONAR video library.
SONAR offers the fastest data and context in the freight market, across all modes of traffic. FreightWaves offers data from over 120,000 time series, updated daily. The data can be consumed through the SONAR dashboard, which includes maps, charts, watchlists, news, flash-content feeds, and through long-form published research.
To request a SONAR demo click here.