It's Not Just Twitter - How One Tweet Momentarily Wiped Off Approximately $1 Billion Off A Company's Stock Value

A tweet by US President-elect Donald Trump sent aircraft manufacturer Boeing's stock price down sharply in after-hours trading.

The Seattle-based company lost approximately $1 billion in stock value, taking a dramatic dip 8 minutes after Trump's tweet, later bouncing back to pre-tweet levels about 20 minutes later.

The tweet, which read “Boeing is building a brand new 747 Air Force One for future presidents, but costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order!”, appears to have scared investors, but the panic seems to have quickly abated. as the price returned to normal soon after.

Boeing's stock price fell almost 2 percent hitting its low on Tuesday, 06 December 2016 showing some correlation as a response to Trump's tweet. As the trading day went on and barely half an hour after the infamous tweet, the aircraft manufacturer's stock price started recovering to "pre-tweet" levels eventually recovering to finish near the flat line Tuesday and traded 0,5 percent higher on Wednesday, 07 December 2016.

Boeing Co Stock Chart
Boeing Co. Stock Chart

“We look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President at the best value for the American taxpayer.Boeing
The tweet also received criticism and generated a lot of debate as some argued the $4 billion number Trump was talking about was incorrect. To back these "fake" numbers claims up, Boeing issued a response to Trump's tweet in which they stated that they are currently under contract for $170 million to determine the capabilities of "these complex military aircraft that serve the unique requirements of the President of the United States,” The company looked for common ground and to calm the fury the tweet caused by further stating that they "look forward to working with the U.S. Air Force on subsequent phases of the program allowing us to deliver the best planes for the President."

The correction to Trump's reported $4 billion number didn't just stop with Boeing as current White House press secretary, Josh Earnest, said that “I’d refer to my colleagues at the Department of Defense for the particulars of the procurement contract,” Earnest further elaborated that some of the statistics that have been cited don’t appear to reflect the nature of the financial agreement between Boeing and the Department of Defense.

Although the tweet didn't really scare off Boeing's investors as witnessed by the recovery, it is clear “it is not just Twitter”, it influences real life despite many who think the contrary. Also, given Trump's tweet containing both factual inaccuracies and false numbers, it raises the question of "fake news" and what can be trusted as a news source. But then again, if it's US President-elect that is the source of "fake news" what can we do?

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