Social Media is going crazy, with everyone from politicians to comedians commenting about the implications that Brexit will have on the British, European and World economies. The reaction has been strongly negative with the British Pound Sterling falling to its historical low and the world markets opening down sharply. But all of this is ex-post analysis. Social Market Analytics (SMA, where I work) had been doing analytics on the subject for over three weeks. While every other poll had predicted that Britain to stay, the results from SMA had been consistent throughout, pointing toward the contrary.
SMA's Social Sentiment Engine (SSE) had given an inkling that Britain was going to vote to take its leave from the European Union. The Social Sentiment Engine is a tool that tracks Twitter (TWTR) - Get Report sentiment on topics of their interest. The EU project was added to the SSE on June 06, 2016. Within 24 hours, the analysis tweets by SMA's patented algorithm were showing signs that "leave" vote would prevail. It was clear from analyzing hashtags and Twitter sentiment that #VoteLeave was trending more than #VoteRemain and when we checked in again right before the vote, sentiment had not changed.
After the vote, one of the most retweeted tweet by in the last 24 hours shows that the older generation was actually the one who wanted to leave the EU.
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Following the outcome of the vote, for the first time in 3 weeks, the #remain and #bremain mentions came close to the #VoteLeave mentions. This could be because the #VoteLeave campaign fulfilled its purpose, and now that it is resting, we can see what the rest of the world has to say about the issue.
Another interesting thing to note is that as soon as the reporting had started showing signs that the outcome was going to be "leave," the sentiment on alternative investments started spiking up. At around midnight Eastern Time (5:00 AM GMT), the sentiment on (GLD) - Get Report , a gold ETF, had crossed over from negative and became positive. As we got closer to market open time in the U.S., the sentiment was strongly positive, with the volume of tweets spiking. The British Pound took a big hit because of the vote results and Prime Minister resigning. The sentiment is almost the mirror version of what is seen for GLD, but lagged by a few hours. This makes sense since there are a lot more "optimists" on Twitter and they want to grab every "buy" opportunity (like in GLD) before they start "shorting" (like in GBP).
See full Brexit coverage here.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.