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Tracking financial trends with Yahoo users’ searching and browsing behavior

Ilaria Bordino
Data dell'evento: 
Mercoledì, 20 January, 2016 - 12:00
DIAG, via Ariosto 25 - Aula Magna I floor

With Internet provision becoming ubiquitous, people have been increasingly turning to search engines, micro-blogging platforms, questions/answering forums, and online encyclopedias for news, information and research purposes.

The massive corpus of people’s digital actions can be viewed at any moment in time as a snapshot of their collective consciousness, reflecting their instantaneous interests, concerns, and intentions, and thus opening up new opportunities for a more precise and extensive quantification of real-world phenomena, including politic, economic and social events and trends. 

A special case of interest is the financial domain, where gathering information on people’s intentions before trading decisions were taken and revealing early signs of events (like stock market moves) may have paramount importance in presence of financial crises or other catastrophic events that result from a combination of actions, and affect humans worldwide.

In this talk I will present my research on tracking trading volumes and price returns of highly treaded stocks based on search queries, browsing activity on financial portals, and sentiment analysis of related news.  My work was based on the analysis of massive-scale logs provided by Yahoo. 

Results show that daily trading volumes of stocks traded in NASDAQ-100 are correlated with daily volumes of queries related to the same stocks. Web browsing on Yahoo Finance results in a higher predictive power than regular web searches, being able to anticipate stock trading volumes by two or three days. Finally,  the combined use of sentiment analysis of news and browsing activity of users of Yahoo! Finance allows to