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Do Nina Garcia’s Tweets Really Move Markets?

Nina GarciaFinancial journalists claim that a single Tweet from Marie Claire editor and Project Runway judge, Nina Garcia, was enough to send JC Penney's stock soaring to 9.9% gains before closing at +5%.

Here's the magical Tweet that rocked markets on Wednesday:

"I’m @jcpenney’s HQ. Thank you Ron Johnson for the walk through of JCP’s prototype. Get ready to shop! Its going to be a game changer!"

Game changer, indeed. An entire industry has now been introduced to Garcia's great glow. Which is cool on its own, but (and I'm not sure I understand the stock market very well) how do we actually know it was the fashion favorite's Tweet which sent JC Penney's stock soaring? WWD's entire rationale boils down to: 1) Garcia has a lot of Twitter followers 2) all the financial people attribute the jump to her 133-character missive. And sure: Garcia has 470,000 Twitter followers and The Wall Street Journal's headline reads, "J.C. Penney Shares Spike After Nina Garcia’s Tweet."

From the WSJ lede: "J.C. Penney shares, no stranger to the roller coaster, spiked in the past hour, apparently after — yes, we are not kidding you — this tweet from Nina Garcia."

But the article mentions that the stock started rising minutes before she sent the Tweet ("Did somebody leak the tweet?" asks WSJ, stupidly. "Call the SEC!"), so really this might all just be false attribution. I've never invested in anything in my whole life, but I went to Social Studies in 7th Grade so I'm pretty well acquainted with the principle, "correlation does not equal causality." Or, what? What am I not getting?

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