David Carr of the New York Times writes about how investors such as Carl Icahn have taken to Twitter to influence stock prices, knowing that the business news media will record their moves.
Carr writes, “First let’s stipulate that unless you are a day trader, much of the business news right now is boring. There is very little deal flow, the mergers of old are gone and, give or take the occasional Twitter initial public offering or a government shutdown, there isn’t much to talk about — unless a Libor scandal or quantitative easing get your blood flowing.
“That means the ink and attention go to the straw stirrers, the agitators, the outliers who make business news and numbers jump off the page and the screen. There’s a reason that the frantic Jim Cramer endures on CNBC.
“It’s also why Mr. Icahn, a 77-year-old with a net worth of $20 billion, when sending out a post or three about Apple, can make big news. He can still shake things up and move the market, enabled by the incredible reach of social media like Twitter or the ample exposure from a TV channel like CNBC.
“Here’s the chronology. Back in August, Mr. Icahn announced in two separate posts that he was buying Apple stock and that he planned to push for large payouts to investors.
“As Fortune magazine pointed out, within an hour of his posts on Twitter, Apple’s market capitalization increased by $17 billion.”
Read more here.