Robotics

This Bot Trades Stocks in Response to Trump Tweets

The creator is donating any profits made from the algorithm to Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Donald Trump's tweets are erratic, impulsive and when targeted at publicly traded companies, have the ability to move markets.

On Jan. 5, when Trump tweeted his disapproval of Toyota Motor building a new plant in Baja, Mexico, his sudden outburst sent the stock falling, wiping $1.2 billion from the automaker's value. When he criticized Nordstrom for dropping Ivanka Trump's brand, the retailer's stock jumped more than 4 percent by market close.

Max Braun, who works in robotics for Google X, decided to turn Trump's whirlwind of Tweets into a method to better mankind. "If you've been following the news about Donald Trump's tweets, you know that they can move markets," Braun told Newsweek.

He created a bot that notifies users about Trump's tweets and has the ability to automatically trade stocks based on his outbursts. The bot then tweets out updates to @Trump2Cash.

Braun wrote in a Medium post: "What if you wrote some code that constantly monitors Trump's feed and analyzes each tweet for mentions of publicly traded companies? Then, you'd immediately trade the affected stocks based on the detected sentiment: buy if positive and short if negative. The whole thing could be 100 percent automated."

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That's precisely what Braun did. And the best part: for his own account, he's donating any profits he makes from the bot in equal parts to Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

With a simulated fund of $100,000, Braun's algorithm managed to bring in more than $7,000 between Dec. 6 and Jan. 30, with an annualized return of 64.5 percent during that timeframe. In more recent days, a few wrong calls brought the annualized return from the bot's inception to Feb. 11 down to 17 percent.

The bot, "powered by Trump tweets," is a work in progress, but has already shown some real potential. It's also open-source, Braun says, so anyone's welcome to pitch in to make it even better.

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