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Firm-Specific Risk-Neutral Distributions : The Role of CDS Spreads
We propose a method to extract individual firms' risk-neutral return distributions by combining options and credit default swaps (CDS). Options provide information about the central part of the distribution, and CDS anchor the left tail. Jointly, options and CDS span the intermediate part of the distribution, which is driven by moderate-sized jump risk. We study the returns on a trading strategy that buys (sells) stocks exposed to positive (negative) moderate-sized jump risk unspanned by options or CDS individually. Controlling for many known factors, this strategy earns a 0.5% premium per ...
Assessing and combining financial conditions indexes
We evaluate the short horizon predictive ability of financial conditions indexes for stock returns and macroeconomic variables. We find reliable predictability only when the sample includes the 2008 financial crisis, and we argue that this result is driven by tailoring the indexes to the crisis and by non-synchronous trading. Financial conditions indexes are based on a variety of constituent variables and aggregation methods, and we discuss a simple procedure for consolidating the growing number of different indexes into a single proxy for financial conditions.