Twitter stock (NYSE:TWTR) to Benefit from Soccer World Cup Fever

This year’s World Cup will play out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and messaging apps like WhatsApp just as it progresses in stadiums from Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro. Nearly 40 percent of Facebook’s 1.28 billion users are football fans. On Tuesday, the world’s biggest online social network is adding new features to help fans follow the World Cup — the world’s most widely viewed sporting event — which takes place in Brazil from June 12th to July 13th.

Largely ignored during much of last year’s 30 percent rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, the stocks leading the U.S. market this year rank among its usually sleepiest components. The best sector in 2014 is utilities, including Consolidated Edison. They’re up 14.5 percent on a total return basis this year, compared with 6.4 percent for the S&P 500 as a whole.

The Soccer World Cup in Brazil will be the most tweeted global event ever, according to a report from Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). Brazil’s Twitter director Guilherme Ribenboim said the volume of messages sent during the month-long competition starting on June 12 will dwarf the 150 million tweets sent about the 2012 London Olympic Games. “We have been showing them how they should use the Twitter platform, how to use hashtags, how to engage with their fans.”

Twitter is also bringing back the “hashflags” it introduced in the 2010 World Cup. Users who tweet three-letter country codes for participating nations — such as BRA for Brazil or ESP for Spain — will see the country’s flag appear in their tweet. Twitter says it will then tally the mentions in its “World Cup of tweets.”

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