Data Trends for Investment Professionals

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Data alternatives – and alternative data – to use during U.S. government shutdowns

The US government shutdown ended on January 25, but with funding only restored until this Friday (February 15), analysts, economists, and other data-dependent specialists may be again in need of reliable alternatives. The 35-day shutdown was the longest ever and left many users - even the Federal Reserve - without the data needed for investment and policy-making decisions.  The most notable gaps were in data collected and released by of the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the Census Bureau, both under the Commerce Department. Also sidelined were the Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service and its Economic Research...

Corporate jet tracking reveals major deals in 2018

Corporate jets are a perk and a status symbol, but they also offer immense value for C-suite executives in savings of time, maintaining privacy, and more. Warren Buffett, originally a critic of private jets as an unnecessary luxury initially named his “The Indefensible” only to rechristen it “The Indispensable” after reevaluating its usefulness. Even in an age of easy and inexpensive global communications, materially significant corporate actions still require face-to-face meetings. That means investors gain a significant edge by knowing who’s in the air and where they are going. The Quest for the Holy Grail The idea of using flight...

Alternative data sheds light on Tesla’s mysterious delivery numbers

Tesla’s strong Q3 delivery numbers - more than doubling from the prior quarter - was good news for the company. But a new report on mysterious lots of Tesla vehicles appearing across America has fanned speculation that those numbers may not be what they seem. Quandl’s alternative data also indicates that there may be more than meets the eye. UPDATE (October 26, 2018): The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the FBI has stepped up a criminal investigation of whether Tesla is misstating production figures. On Tuesday, October 2, Tesla announced a doubling of deliveries in the third quarter to...

Corporate Aviation Intelligence: The Sky’s the Limit

I’m pleased to announce the launch of Quandl’s Corporate Aviation Intelligence (CAI) product. This institutional-grade product tracks corporate air travel to yield actionable insights into M&A, corporate expansion, competitive intelligence and other market-moving events. TAKEOFF In late January 2017 Actelion's stock jumped by more than 20%, taking the market by surprise. Everyone, that is, except for three hedge funds. Och-Ziff, Eton Park and Elliott Management are said to have tracked J&J’s private jet landing near pharmaceutical company Actelion’s Switzerland headquarters in mid-January. Days later J&J announced a $30 billion acquisition of Actelion, resulting in $300M in upside for these three...

UPDATE: Iron Ore in a Meltdown?

UPDATE: We recently published an updated report on our iron ore monthly insights, featuring our Q1 estimates for each company. Our monthly report is released two to three weeks earlier than public company data. We currently distributed our monthly report on FactSet and Thomson Reuters.  Back in November, the Chinese government imposed regulations on steel production to curb the pollution in areas surrounding Beijing. We predicted that the restrictions would pull the players in iron ore industry in opposing directions: While the general reduction of steel production would reduce the overall demand for iron ore, the intense crackdown on domestic...

Searching for an Edge with Alternative Data

When Johnson & Johnson agreed to buy Actelion for $30 billion on January 26, 2017, its stock soared almost 20 percent. The deal was the largest in J&J’s 130-year history. This was good news for Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC (who had built a stake worth about USD 766 million), Eton Park Capital Management (whose bet was almost USD 500 million) and Elliott Management Corp. (USD 200 million). The three funds, however, did not make their bets blind; they had backed up their belief by good old-fashioned sleuthing: They tracked J&J’s private jet movements with alternative data. According to Bloomberg,...

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