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Nothing in markets goes without saying: Chart of the Week

This is The Chart of the Week from today's Morning Brief, which you can sign up to receive in your inbox every morning along with:

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A former editor of mine used to teach that inside arcane and legalese-filled SEC filings, a well of great stories existed within the “risk factors” a company had to disclose for its business.

This section is a repository for all the nightmares that keep executives up at night. And its Kafkaesque blend of absurdity, creativity, and bureaucracy can grab headlines.


Especially when one of your key personnel is the former president of the United States.

This week, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG, trading under the DJT ticker) stock sank 21% Monday as investors were hit with an SEC filing filled with two eye-catching risk factors: disclosure of significant operating losses and broad exposure to Donald Trump’s reputation.

As our Chart of the Week shows, the filing hit very hard.

“TMTG expects to continue to incur operating losses and negative cash flows from operating activities for the foreseeable future,” the filing read.

The company also “may be subject to greater risks than typical social media platforms because of the focus of its offerings and the involvement of President Trump” and noted that its “brand may diminish if the popularity of President Trump were to suffer.”

The nosedive from Trump Media stock following the filing is also a reminder to investors that it always matters what is said out loud. Trump Media has exposure to Trump’s reputation? You don’t say.

But when the company did say it, well, the market took notice!

In the Risk Factors Hall of Fame you might find Sea World reminding investors that its animals have killed people and may again in the future. Or Virgin Galactic’s version, saying its spaceship has killed and may kill again.

The weirder and more complicated the company, the wilder the risk factors can be, like Uber’s cautioning that “criminals might use our app.”

Like many parts of voluminous SEC filings, these disclosures can be boilerplate, filled with language aimed at warding off lawsuits, complying with securities laws, and helping executives and the board cover their you-know-whats.

In markets, however, things really never just “go without saying” — no matter how obvious.

Ethan Wolff-Mann is a Senior Editor at Yahoo Finance, running newsletters. Follow him on Twitter @ewolffmann.

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