SAUSAGE-MAKING – WSJ A1, "Traders Pay for an Early Peek at Key Data," by Brody Mullins, Michael Rothfeld, Tom McGinty and Jenny Strasburg : "Economic reports from public universities, trade groups and other nongovernmental organizations can move markets as surely as official data from the U.S. government. But unlike government reports, where pains are taken to make certain no one gets them ahead of time, few rules control release of nongovernmental economic reports. Unknown to many investors, selling early access is routine. … Besides the [University of] Michigan consumer-sentiment survey, reports released early to paying customers include a Chicago-based barometer of business activity and a widely followed manufacturing index from the Institute for Supply Management … Other organizations, including trade associations and private research firms, sell data that move industry-specific stocks and futures markets on everything from agriculture to truck sales. …

"Infinium’s chief operating officer, Gregory Eickbush … said Infinium [Capital Management, a high-speed trading firm in Chicago] attributes around 10% of its annual revenue … to using high-speed news and economic-data feeds, in a strategy he called ‘event jumping.’ Trading on such reports, called the ‘news-feed trade,’ is emblematic of an era in financial markets dominated by hair-trigger trading measured in fractions of seconds. At its speediest, this means trading by algorithms based on what is known as ‘machine-readable news.’ …

"The early look at the [Michigan] consumer-sentiment findings comes from Thomson Reuters Corp. The company will pay the University of Michigan $1.1 million this year for rights to distribute the findings … Thomson Reuters’s marketing materials say the firm offers paying clients an ‘exclusive 2-second advanced feed of results…designed specifically for algorithmic trading.’ Clients who pay a subscription fee to Thomson Reuters, which for some is $5,000 a month plus a $1,025 monthly connection charge, get the high-speed feed at 9:54:58 a.m. Eastern time. Those who pay for Thomson Reuters’s regular news services get the report two seconds later. … Five minutes later, at 10 a.m., the university posts the numbers on its website." Free in Google; type in headline on.wsj.com/11b8ypw

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