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The Halloween effect: Trick or treat?

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  • Haggard, K. Stephen
  • Witte, H. Douglas
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    Abstract

    Research documents higher stock returns in November through April than for the rest of the year. This anomaly is known as the "Halloween effect" and results in the following trading rule: sell stocks in early May, invest in T-bills, and re-invest in stocks on Halloween. In contrast to recent studies, we show that the Halloween effect is robust to consideration of outliers and the "January effect." Additionally, we show that investing in a "Halloween portfolio" provides risk-adjusted returns in excess of buy and hold equity returns even after consideration of transaction costs.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6W4W-519DFB6-1/2/6c1167f26866e196f731f84476e51b96
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Review of Financial Analysis.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 5 (December)
    Pages: 379-387

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:finana:v:19:y:2010:i:5:p:379-387

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620166

    Related research

    Keywords: Anomalies Market efficiency Calendar;

    References

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    1. Keim, Donald B., 1983. "Size-related anomalies and stock return seasonality : Further empirical evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 13-32, June.
    2. Sauer, Raymond D, et al, 1988. "Hold Your Bets: Another Look at the Efficiency of the Gambling Market for National Football League Games: Comment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 206-13, February.
    3. Sidney B. Wachtel, 1942. "Certain Observations on Seasonal Movements in Stock Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15, pages 184.
    4. Edwin Maberly & Raylene Pierce, 2003. "The Halloween Effect and Japanese Equity Prices: Myth or Exploitable Anomaly," Asia-Pacific Financial Markets, Springer, vol. 10(4), pages 319-334, December.
    5. Ledoit, Oliver & Wolf, Michael, 2008. "Robust performance hypothesis testing with the Sharpe ratio," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 850-859, December.
    6. Galai, Dan & Kedar-Levy, Haim & Schreiber, Ben Z., 2008. "Seasonality in outliers of daily stock returns: A tail that wags the dog?," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 784-792, December.
    7. David M. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "What Moves Stock Prices?," NBER Working Papers 2538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Ben Jacobsen & Nuttawat Visaltanachoti, 2009. "The Halloween Effect in U.S. Sectors," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 44(3), pages 437-459, 08.
    9. Jobson, J D & Korkie, Bob M, 1981. "Performance Hypothesis Testing with the Sharpe and Treynor Measures," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(4), pages 889-908, September.
    10. William Goetzmann & Jonathan Ingersoll & Matthew Spiegel & Ivo Welch, 2002. "Portfolio Performance Manipulation and Manipulation-Proof Performance Measures," Yale School of Management Working Papers amz2471, Yale School of Management, revised 01 Apr 2006.
    11. Lucey, Brian M & Zhao, Shelly, 2008. "Halloween or January? Yet another puzzle," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 1055-1069, December.
    12. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 877R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 1989.
    13. Rozeff, Michael S. & Kinney, William Jr., 1976. "Capital market seasonality: The case of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 379-402, October.
    14. Sven Bouman & Ben Jacobsen, 2002. "The Halloween Indicator, "Sell in May and Go Away": Another Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1618-1635, December.
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