Echo Effect: UAL Stock Dives on Old News

United Airline’s stock took a beating on Monday when a news item about their 2002 bankruptcy was republished without a date stamp — and next to a current weather map. The echo effect of a single document led to a >$1B loss in less than a quarter of an hour.
Today’s NYT deconstructs the chain of events, and concludes: “eliminating the human touch from the process seems to be what wiped out all that value in United’s stock.”
Inferring sentiment from text without human participation is extremely difficult.† Our own approach relies on a one-time human analysis that amplifies and scales with an algorithm — and focuses more on characterizing the haystack than identifying each needle.

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