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Explaining stock price movements: is there a case for fundamentals?

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  • Nathan S. Balke
  • Mark E. Wohar

Abstract

Some observers have argued that the run-up in the Standard & Poor's 500 stock price index during the 1990s was due to irrational exuberance rather than market fundamentals. This article presents evidence that the case for market fundamentals is stronger than it appears on the surface. Nathan Balke and Mark Wohar show that movements in the price-dividend and price-earnings rations have exhibited substantial persistence, particularly since World War II. Hence, using the long-run historical average value of the price/earnings or price/dividend ratio as the "normal" valuation ratio is misleading. The authors also show that plausible combinations of lower expected future real discount rates and higher expected real dividend (earnings) growth could rationalize current broad market stock values, raising the possibility that changes in market fundamentals have made a major contribution to the run-up in stock prices. Even if market fundamentals were responsible for the increase in stock prices during the 1990s, we should not necessarily expect future stock returns to be as high as the returns seen in the latter half of the 1990s.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its journal Economic and Financial Policy Review.

Volume (Year): (2001)
Issue (Month): Q III ()
Pages: 22-34

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:2001:i:qiii:p:22-34

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Keywords: Stock - Prices ; Stock market;

References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. McMillan, David G., 2006. "The price-dividend ratio and limits to arbitrage: Evidence from a time-varying ESTR model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(3), pages 408-412, June.
  2. Taipalus, Katja, 2012. "Detecting asset price bubbles with time-series methods," Scientific Monographs E:47/2012, Bank of Finland.
  3. McMillan, David G., 2009. "Are share prices still too high?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 223-232, September.
  4. Brendan McCabe & Stephen Leybourne & David Harris, 2003. "Testing for Stochastic Cointegration and Evidence for Present Value Models," Econometrics 0311009, EconWPA.
  5. David G. McMillan, 2010. "Level-shifts and non-linearity in US financial ratios: Implications for returns predictability and the present value model," Review of Accounting and Finance, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 9(2), pages 189-207, May.
  6. McMillan, David G., 2007. "Bubbles in the dividend-price ratio? Evidence from an asymmetric exponential smooth-transition model," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 787-804, March.
  7. Filis, George, 2010. "Macro economy, stock market and oil prices: Do meaningful relationships exist among their cyclical fluctuations?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 877-886, July.
  8. Woglom, Geoffrey, 2003. "Endowment spending rates, intergenerational equity and the sources of capital gains," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 591-601, December.
  9. Binswanger, Mathias, 2004. "Stock returns and real activity in the G-7 countries: did the relationship change during the 1980s?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 237-252, May.

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