Glasgow spin-out aims to help traders Scoop the market

A spin-out from the University of Glasgow is tapping into the power of social media in an effort to help stock traders make 'faster, smarter decisions'.

Scoop Markets scours Twitter to identify breaking news that can move share prices. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
Scoop Markets scours Twitter to identify breaking news that can move share prices. Picture: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Scoop Analytics uses artificial intelligence to scour Twitter for breaking news, aiming to give traders the information needed to act more swiftly than their rivals.

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The firm, co-founded by two former postgraduate students – Dr Phil McParlane and James McMinn – from the university’s School of Computing Science and their professor, Joemon Jose, highlighted two recent examples where its algorithm had identified market-moving breaking news.

In July, the Scoop Markets service identified rumours of a merger between JP Morgan and WorldPay before the latter’s share price rose when the news broke, and the following day caught wind that the deal had fallen through, sending WorldPay’s stock down sharply. According to Scoop Analytics, traders who acted on both tips could have made a return of almost 25 per cent.

And last month the algorithm spotted the surprise ousting of AA boss Bob Mackenzie for “gross misconduct”, a move that sent the roadside recovery group’s shares down about 14 per cent.

Scoop said that its system analyses the “text within a tweet”, making it more effective at highlighting relevant information than rivals that often use retweets as an indicator of the impact of breaking news.

McParlane said: “It may only be a few minutes before the information makes it to the news, but a smart trader can use that time advantage to make more informed trading decisions ahead of the curve.”

McMinn added: “Scoop Markets looks at thousands of tweets every second to pull out data which is relevant to a trader’s area of interest. We’ve put a lot of time and effort into fine-tuning the system since Scoop was incorporated in 2015, and we’re confident that Scoop Markets will provide retail traders with a real advantage.”

Scoop Analytics is chaired by Simon Hardy, the former chief executive of mobile data technology specialist Kelvin Connect, another spin-out from the University of Glasgow that was acquired by emergency services communications provider Airwave Solutions in 2011.