Online Brokerages See Spike In Web Traffic
By Contextuall:It's always been difficult for investors to keep an eye on real-time economic conditions, given that most economic data points are released with a lag, but times have changed, and now that we live in an age of "big data," it's become possible to identify certain trends in real time.For example, recent academic research suggests that counts of Internet searches for certain words or phrases can predict some macroeconomic data releases. Rebecca Hellerstein, a Senior Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, writes:
The underlying intuition is compelling. Almost 80 percent of Americans use the Internet (CIA World Factbook) and 16.4 billion Internet searches were conducted in the United States in December 2010 (comScore). If we assume some connection between what people search for and their subsequent behavior, these data have the potential to track or lead all kinds of phenomena.
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