Thomson Reuters offers elite traders early release of University of Michigan consumer confidence figure
CNBC reports a select group of paying Thomson Reuters customers on Wall Street get a two-second sneak peak at the monthly University of Michigan consumer confidence figure.
The closely-watched figure, which assesses consumer attitudes and has the influence to move markets, is produced by U-M and funded by Thomson Reuters — which pays the Ann Arbor school around $1 million a year.
Reuters in turn has complete rights to the figure, which the company releases to the public at a 10 a.m. and to all Thomson Reuters' paying clients at 9:55 a.m.. However CNBC reports that a select group of elite clients, who pay an additional and undisclosed fee, get access to the data two seconds before the 9:55 a.m. release, thus awarding such companies a trading advantage.
The article quotes U-M spokesperson Rick Fitzgerald as saying the school's arrangement with Thomson Reuters complies with regulations and the index is produced with private funds.
However former Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt told CNBC "public colleges should set a higher standard."