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Mining Twitter for trading profits

A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles
A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles

By Jenny Harris and Jennifer Rogers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York-based money manager Josh Brown says he is plugged into the news to make his trades, but not how you might expect.

"You'll notice I don't have scrolling headlines on my main screen," said Brown, vice president of investments at Fusion Analytics and author of the blog The Reformed Broker, pointing to his computer from his desk in midtown Manhattan.

"You'll also notice there is no TV, and no radio in the background."

Brown gets everything he needs to trade his portfolio from social media sites like Twitter and newcomer StockTwits, a micro-blogging site on stocks that he has a small equity stake in.

And he's not alone. Turning for Twitter to make money is catching on with traders, who are now able to quickly access information from new sources, take the pulse of the crowd and connect with each other in ways never before possible ... for free.

Companies that cater to this phenomenon are popping up throughout the web. They depend on Tweets for their content and the financial community for their customers.

But just how fast big Wall Street firms embrace this new phenomena depends on the dreaded "C" word: compliance. How regulators decide to classify the faster, trendy way to communicate -- and who's responsible for monitoring it -- will determine just how long Wall Street can shun the new technology.

For more on how traders are tapping Twitter, click on the Insider link: http://link.reuters.com/gur99r

(Editing by Steve Orlofsky)