When searching for stock gains, use Google (search data)
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attentionSmart investors avail themselves of all valuable resources as inputs into the investment research process. I write about this faculty in my book Tradestream in the chapter "Co-lateral Research". What co-lateral research means is all the non-financial/non-traditional sources of information that can be used by investors to connect-the-dots. I've written about Google Domestic Trends, search volume data Google has made public and overlayed on top of stock index charts. GDT continues to be a good resource for investors. And now, there's more research to support using Google search data to auger where markets are headed. In In Search of Attention, researchers found that Google's Search Volume Index captures retail investors' attention in stocks.
Among our sample of Russell 3000 stocks, stocks that experienced an increase in ASVI [me: abnormal search volume index reading] this week are associated with an outperformance of more than30 basis points (bps) on a characteristic-adjusted basis during the subsequent two weeks. This initial positive price pressure is almost completely reversed by the end of the year.The paper also finds that increased search volume leading up to hot IPOs may be responsible for that big first-day pop! that such issues experience. As the first paper that has really looked at search data from an investing standpoint, this should be piped and smoked. In fact, the authors conclude the paper with a somewhat foretelling statement:
Search volume is an objective way to reveal and quantify the interests of investors and therefore should have many other potential applications in fi nance. We leave those for future research.Bring it on.