Existing home sales data for the month of July from the National Association of Realtors came out much earlier than expected this morning.
The data was supposed to be released at 10 a.m. ET, but it was reported by Bloomberg at 9:31 a.m. ET.
Here’s the Tweet:
We pinged a broker, who wishes to remain anonymous, to explain why this data leak might impact some traders. (Note: His response has been lightly edited for clarity)
“I would say that there is nothing investors and traders hate more than uncertainty….and when the numbers come out 30 minutes early it probably screwed up more traders than it helped, unless however you KNEW that they were going to be leaked out 30 minutes early, I’m sure they will investigate how it happened and possibly check if anyone traded off it.”
We called the NAR this morning to find out why the numbers came out ahead of the embargo.
A spokesman and a spokeswoman both told us that what apparently happened was someone at the NAR posted the release on the website ahead of time by mistake, but there wasn’t a link to click on.
Basically, the URL was set, but it was technically invisible unless you knew what to look for.
The release evidently wasn’t up very long, but “in that short period of time, Bloomberg captured it.”
While this is the first time this has ever happened at the NAR, they’re not the first to have information reported before it’s publicly released.
This sort of thing has also happened with company earnings being reported early before they are publicly released. (SEE: So This Is How Bloomberg Gets Earnings Reports Hours Before They’re Publicly Released…)
We then asked about the process for releasing this data at the NAR.
“Historically, this is something that we’re very careful about. The SEC has had several discussions with us previously,” an NAR spokesman told us.
He explained to us that the numbers are released in a lock-up for the general media. Basically, this is a news briefing that starts at 9:30 a.m. with 10 minutes of Q&A with no outside communication. Meanwhile, the numbers are posted on the website at 10 a.m. ET once the embargo is up.
This is the second major datapoint to leak lately: Also, on August 9, the Bureau of labour Statistic released jobless claims data early.