Austin company’s ‘Trump and Dump’ turns president’s tweets into donations

AUSTIN (KXAN) — There’s something to be said about President Donald Trump’s relationship with Twitter and the stock market.

When the president criticized General Motors for making Cruze models in Mexico on Twitter — the brand’s stock fell .7 percent. The same thing happened to Boeing shares when Trump complained about the cost of building a new Air Force One in December. Shares dropped 1.4 percent.

Notice a pattern? So did T3.

“We noticed a relationship to his tweets and sometimes a bump in the company if he was saying something positive and sometimes a dip in their stock as well, it goes both ways,” said T3 Chief of Technology, Nelan Schwartz. “We haven’t seen somebody with that much power using Twitter or any sort of public platform like that to create the waves in the market he’s been creating,”

The Austin-based marketing and advertising firm created a bot or automated software and called it the “Trump and Dump.” If the president mentions a publicly-traded company in a negative way—using words like “Cancel” or “No”— the software then automatically shorts the company’s stock. All within a matter of milliseconds.

“It starts with borrowing a stock when you have an inclination that the stock is going to drop,” Schwartz explained. “You borrow the stock and immediately sell it. At that point you wait for the stock to drop, you then buy, return the stock you borrowed and you are able to profit from the difference.”

T3 won’t say how much money they’ve made off Trump’s tweet, but it’s enough, they say, to make a difference in a puppy’s life. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the shorted stocks go directly to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“We didn’t want to do this to make money for ourselves. This company is very dog-friendly. On any given day we have 10 to 15 dogs just roaming around the halls. So from there it was kind of a pretty straight shot, why don’t we donate to ASPCA,” Schwartz said.

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