Searches of financial terms on Google can be used to predict the direction of the stock market, according to an analysis of search engine behavior stretching back nearly a decade.
The research, by U.K. and U.S. academics, is the latest attempt to mine online behavior patterns for clues about future movements in financial markets.
The findings appeared to show that people do more searches on terms such as “stocks,” “portfolio” and “economics” when they are worried about the state of the markets, said Tobias Preis, associate professor of behavioral science and finance at Warwick Business School.
Rises in search volumes for such terms are generally followed by stock market declines, according to the research published in the journal Scientific Reports. By contrast, a fall in financial searches often points to greater optimism among investors, leading to a rising market.
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