An app for investor sentiment

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A free Web application purports to help you to find Wall Street stock winners.

Sentigo, which monitors online investor sentiment—how investors feel about the market—in May launched its Wall St. Scanner app. The software delivers next-day forecasts for stock-market-price directions by analyzing investors’ moods about publicly traded companies and integrating that analysis with market data.

But Yuval Bar-Or, who is the author of “Play to Prosper: The Passive Investor’s Game Plan,” believes that sentiment-based stock-prediction software falls short. Bar-Or, who is an adjunct professor of finance at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School in Baltimore, says the software might identify that a particular stock is being affected by investor sentiment. However, he says, such software can’t predict how long that investor buzz will influence a stock. That means that you might lose money waiting for the right moment to buy or sell.