Using technology in the investing and trading process does not need to be complex. For example, some traders use simple scripts to ping popular research report providers RSS feeds and webpages to monitor changes, allowing them to trade on news of a report slightly before the broader market. Usually an email is sent relating to these reports AFTER the article is posted on the website, so pinging an RSS endpoint should give the earliest notification. For example, the Muddy Waters RSS Feed is listed below:

http://www.muddywatersresearch.com/feed/?post_type=reports

Additionally, you can use software such a Nokogiri, Mechanize, or any webscraping library to the monitor changes to any webpage. For example, sending an alert when the top listed research report is different at sites such as http://www.sprucepointcap.com/research/ or http://www.citronresearch.com/reports/.

Some take this even a step further and use a simple NLP sentiment analysis library such as Sentimental or Alchemy API to calculate the sentiment of the title and put on a small trade quickly with a stop loss. For example, we use a custom dictionary which weights words such as “short” and “fraud” more negatively. Running a recent title from Muddy Waters Report gives us a score of -0.762:

analyzer = Sentimental.new
analyzer.score 'MW is Short China Huishan Dairy Holdings Co Ltd (6863:HK)'

Traders also use the strategies to receive early alerts for government report such as Tobacco Sales Stats (https://www.ttb.gov/tobacco/tobacco-stats.shtml) or Nevada Gaming Information (http://gaming.nv.gov/index.aspx?page=149). Obviously, there are many alternative use cases, and these are just a few simple examples, but it is important to note that many investors are using these tools to gain a slight edge.