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When Are Contrarian Profits Due to Stock Market Overreaction?

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  • Lo, Andrew W
  • MacKinlay, A Craig

Abstract

If returns on some stocks systematically lead or lag those of others, a portfolio strategy that sells "winners" and buys "losers" can produce positive expected returns, even if no stock's returns are negatively autocorrelated as virtually all models of overreaction imply. Using a particular contrarian strategy, the authors show that, despite negative autocorrelation in individual stock returns, weekly portfolio returns are strongly positively autocorrelated and are the result of important cross-autocorrelations. The authors find that the returns of large stocks lead those of smaller stocks, and present evidence against overreaction as the only source of contrarian profits. Article published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Financial Studies in its journal, The Review of Financial Studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Society for Financial Studies in its journal Review of Financial Studies.

Volume (Year): 3 (1990)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 175-205

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Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:3:y:1990:i:2:p:175-205

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  1. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
  2. Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. " Does the Stock Market Rationally Reflect Fundamental Values?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 591-601, July.
  3. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
  4. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
  5. Scholes, Myron & Williams, Joseph, 1977. "Estimating betas from nonsynchronous data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 309-327, December.
  6. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990. " Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-95, June.
  7. Kim, M.J. & Nelson, C.R. & Startz, R., 1988. "Mean Reversion In Stock Prices? A Reappraisal Of Empirical Evidence," Working Papers 88-15, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  8. Roll, Richard, 1984. " A Simple Implicit Measure of the Effective Bid-Ask Spread in an Efficient Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1127-39, September.
  9. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
  10. Atchison, Michael D & Butler, Kirt C & Simonds, Richard R, 1987. " Nonsynchronous Security Trading and Market Index Autocorrelation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(1), pages 111-18, March.
  11. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  12. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard H, 1987. " Further Evidence on Investor Overreaction and Stock Market Seasonalit y," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 557-81, July.
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