Years ago, when Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) was first starting out, most folks wondered what all the fuss was about. Why on earth would anyone want to limit their communication to 140 characters? In short, most adults probably figured it would never catch on.
Yet, on November 7, 2013, the company came public at $26 a share, which represented a market valuation of $18.1 billion. And for those of you keeping score at home, TWTR closed Thursday at $42.06 a share, pushing the company's valuation to somewhere around $29.2 billion. As such, Twitter is indeed a force to be reckoned with.
It is a safe bet that despite the company's success, the vast majority of Moms and Dads in the good 'ol USofA don't understand Twitter. However, for those of us in the business of investing, Twitter is a godsend.
Twitter is the New Ticker Tape
You see, Twitter is the new ticker tape. Gone are the days where only those well healed enough to afford Bloomberg terminals can stay up to the minute with the happenings on Wall Street.
No, these days, if you want to know why a company is soaring, somebody on Twitter will tell you - in real time. If you want the latest rumor, Twitter has it for you. And if you are looking for the latest update on the Philly Fed Index, yep, that's right, the data will be on Twitter before you see it on CNBC or Bloomberg TV.
In short, if you wants to stay on top of the markets, all they really need is a Twitter account and a list of the right people to follow. (For the record the StateoftheMarkets.com Twitter Handle is @StateDave.) Once you are set up, the action in the stock market becomes a LOT less mysterious.
And here's the cool part(s). First, you don't have to actually do any Tweeting yourself in order to benefit. You can simply sit back and watch as the nation's experts bring you the key goings on - all in real time - and all for... wait for it... FREE. A pretty good deal, don't you think?
A Single Tweet Sums Up The Market Action
Speaking of Tweeting and the Philly Fed report, a single tweet that was sent by StateoftheMarkets.com yesterday summed up the entire session. And it didn't even require the full 140 characters. Here it is...
"And we're back... Algos assuming no December Taper after Philly Fed."
— StateOfTheMarkets (@StateDave) November 21, 2013
Sure, Tweets tend to be short (that's the point, after all!). So perhaps this one needs a little explanation. But at the end, you will likely agree that these ten words summed up the entire day.
Philly Fed Stunk Up The Joint
The key here is the Philadelphia Fed Business Outlook Index is one of the first "real time" reads on the economy each month. So, when the Philly Fed index came in at 6.5, which was well below the consensus estimate for a reading of 13.2, October's reading of 19.8 and September's 22.3, one might have expected stocks to tank.
But instead of the market falling on what was obviously a weak economic number, stocks actually began to rally. And by the end of the day, the DJIA (NYSE: DIA) was over 16,000 for the first time ever and closed at new all-time high.
So, unless you are completely in tune with how the market works and what is driving the action these days, the action might have left you scratching your head.
Making Sense of it All
In case there has been any doubt as to what has been driving stocks over the past few weeks, Thursday's action should have cleared it up. You see, the key to the current stock market is the question of when the Fed is going to begin tapering their QE3 bond-buying program.
When there has been evidence that the Fed might tighten in December (aka the "Dectaper") stocks have declined. And whenever something or someone suggests that the Fed won't begin tapering until the spring, stocks rally. For now at least, that's all one really needs to know.
So, when the Philly Fed came in woefully below expectations and the Employment component was even worse, the result was simple - a weak Philly Fed likely meant that there would be no "Dectaper." Which, gave the green light to buyers to return.
But, But, But...
However, it is important to recognize that the bulls are not home free at this point. Although the Dow did break to a new high, it did so by only a smidge and no other major index followed suit. Thus, there is still resistance overhead in an overbought market. So, while this market remains all about the Fed, one should not assume that it will be up, up, and away from here.
Publishing Note: I am traveling Monday and Tuesday, and then will be spending the remainder of the Thanksgiving week away from the keyboard. Thus, I will publish reports as time permits. Here's wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!
Turning to this morning... Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart is back in the news this morning, telling a CNBC audience that, in his opinion, tapering in December should be on the table but that the Fed remains extremely accommodative. This has put a bit of a damper on the early mood as overnight markets were mixed and U.S. futures now point to a flat open.
Positions in stocks mentioned: none
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