The high-frequency impact of news on long-term yields and forward rates: Is it real?
This paper uses high-frequency intradaily data to estimate the effects of macroeconomic news announcements on yields and forward rates on nominal and index-linked bonds, and on inflation compensation. To our knowledge, it is the first study in the macro announcements literature to use intradaily real yield data, which allow us to parse the effects of news announcements on real rates and inflation compensation far more precisely than we can using daily data. Long-term nominal yields and forward rates are very sensitive to macroeconomic news announcements. We find that inflation compensation is ...
The impact of creditor protection on stock prices in the presence of credit crunches
Data show that better creditor protection is correlated across countries with lower average stock market volatility. Moreover, countries with better creditor protection seem to have suffered lower decline in their stock market indexes during the current financial crisis. To explain this regularity, we use a Tobin q model of investment and show that stronger creditor protection increases the expected level and lowers the variance of stock prices in the presence of credit crunches. There are two main channels through which creditor protection enhances the performance of the stock market: (1) ...
Boomer retirement: headwinds for U.S. equity markets?
Historical data indicate a strong relationship between the age distribution of the U.S. population and stock market performance. A key demographic trend is the aging of the baby boom generation. As they reach retirement age, they are likely to shift from buying stocks to selling their equity holdings to finance retirement. Statistical models suggest that this shift could be a factor holding down equity valuations over the next two decades.
Performance maximization of actively managed funds
Ratios that indicate the statistical significance of a fund's alpha typically appraise its performance. A growing literature suggests that even in the absence of any ability to predict returns, holding options positions on the benchmark assets or trading frequently can significantly enhance performance ratios. This paper derives the performance-maximizing strategy--a variant of buy-write--and the least upper bound on such performance enhancement, thereby showing that if common equity indexes are used as benchmarks, the potential performance enhancement from trading frequently is usually ...
Stock return predictability and variance risk premia: statistical inference and international evidence
Recent empirical evidence suggests that the variance risk premium, or the difference between risk-neutral and statistical expectations of the future return variation, predicts aggregate stock market returns, with the predictability especially strong at the 2-4 month horizons. We provide extensive Monte Carlo simulation evidence that statistical finite sample biases in the overlapping return regressions underlying these findings can not ``explain" this apparent predictability. Further corroborating the existing empirical evidence, we show that the patterns in the predictability across ...
Loss aversion, asymmetric market comovements, and the home bias
Loss aversion has been used to explain why a high equity premium might be consistent with plausible levels of risk aversion. The intuition is that the different utility impact of wealth gains and losses leads loss-averse investors to behave similarly to investors with high risk aversion. But if so, should these agents not perceive larger gains from international diversification than standard expected-utility preference agents with plausible levels of risk aversion? They might not, because comovements in international stock markets are asymmetric: Correlations are higher in market downturns ...
The microstructure of cross-autocorrelations
This paper examines the mechanism through which the incorporation of information into prices leads to cross-autocorrelations in stock returns. The lead-lag relation between large and small stocks increases with lagged spreads of large stocks. Further, order flows in large stocks significantly predict the returns of small stocks when large stock spreads are high. This effect is consistent with the notion that trading on common information takes place first in the large stocks and is then transmitted to smaller stocks with a lag, suggesting that price discovery takes place in the large stocks.
Has international financial co-movement changed? Emerging markets in the 2007-2009 financial crisis
Emerging market (EM) assets have historically been regarded as inherently risky and particularly vulnerable to international shocks that result in a general increase in investor risk perceptions. In this paper, we assess the ongoing relevance of this view by examining the linkages between EM and non-EM stock and bond markets in the past two decades, with a focus on how these relationships played out during the global financial crisis of 2007-2009. We evaluate how these linkages have evolved over the period 1992-2009, through statistical tests of whether the volatility of EM financial markets ...
External habit and the cyclicality of expected stock returns
We estimate an equilibrium asset pricing model in which agents' preferences have an unobserved external habit using the efficient method of moments (EMM). Given the estimated structural parameters we examine the cyclical behavior of expected stock returns in the model. We find that the estimated structural parameters imply countercyclical expected stock returns as documented in existing empirical studies. The model, however, is still rejected at the one percent level. Detailed examination of the moment conditions in our estimation indicates that the model performs reasonably well in matching ...
Financial leverage, corporate investment, and stock returns
This paper presents a dynamic model of the firm with risk-free debt contracts, investment irreversibility, and debt restructuring costs. The model fits several stylized facts of corporate finance and asset pricing: First, book leverage is constant across different book-to-market portfolios, whereas market leverage differs significantly. Second, changes in market leverage are mainly caused by changes in stock prices rather than by changes in debt. Third, when the model is calibrated to fit the cross-sectional distribution of book-to-market ratios, it explains the return differences across ...