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Do the spreads between the E/P ratio and interest rates contain information on future equity market movements?

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  • Douglas Rolph
  • Pu Shen

Abstract

We examine the usefulness of the spreads between the e/p ratio of the S&P 500 index and the yields on 3-month and 10-year Treasury securities as indicators of future market conditions. We find that while spreads are not particularly useful in a regression framework, the extreme values of the spreads do contain information on the market outlook. Specifically, for the period of 1967 to 1997, portfolios that only invested in the stock index when the spreads were above their historical tenth percentile levels produced higher average returns (not statistically significant) and lower variances (statistically significant) than the stock index.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its series Research Working Paper with number 99-03.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:99-03

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Keywords: Interest rates ; Stock market;

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  1. Basu, S, 1977. "Investment Performance of Common Stocks in Relation to Their Price-Earnings Ratios: A Test of the Efficient Market Hypothesis," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(3), pages 663-82, June.
  2. Henriksson, Roy D & Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. II. Statistical Procedures for Evaluating Forecasting Skills," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(4), pages 513-33, October.
  3. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1992. " The Cross-Section of Expected Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 427-65, June.
  4. Merton, Robert C, 1981. "On Market Timing and Investment Performance. I. An Equilibrium Theory of Value for Market Forecasts," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(3), pages 363-406, July.
  5. Chan, Louis K C & Hamao, Yasushi & Lakonishok, Josef, 1991. " Fundamentals and Stock Returns in Japan," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1739-64, December.
  6. Basu, Sanjoy, 1983. "The relationship between earnings' yield, market value and return for NYSE common stocks : Further evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 129-156, June.
  7. Cumby, Robert E. & Modest, David M., 1987. "Testing for market timing ability : A framework for forecast evaluation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 169-189, September.
  8. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1995. " Predictability of Stock Returns: Robustness and Economic Significance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1201-28, September.
  9. Jaffe, Jeffrey & Keim, Donald B & Westerfield, Randolph, 1989. " Earnings Yields, Market Values, and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 44(1), pages 135-48, March.
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