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What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?

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  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Kenneth N. Kuttner

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of changes in monetary policy on equity prices, with the objectives both of measuring the average reaction of the stock market and also of understanding the economic sources of that reaction. We find that, on average, a hypothetical unanticipated 25-basis-point cut in the federal funds rate target is associated with about a one percent increase in broad stock indexes. Adapting a methodology due to Campbell (1991) and Campbell and Ammer (1993), we find that the effects of unanticipated monetary policy actions on expected excess returns account for the largest part of the response of stock prices.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10402.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Publication status: published as Bernanke, Ben S., and Kenneth N. Kuttner. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?" Journal of Finance 60(3): 1221-1257, June 2005
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10402

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  1. Faust, Jon & Swanson, Eric T. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2004. "Identifying VARS based on high frequency futures data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1107-1131, September.
  2. Willem Thorbecke, 1995. "On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_139, Levy Economics Institute.
  3. 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.
  4. Ray C. Fair, 2002. "Events That Shook the Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 713-732, October.
  5. John Y. Campbell, 1990. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 3246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: evidence from the Fed funds futures markets," Staff Reports 99, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  8. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2002. "Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Campbell, John & Vuolteenaho, Tuomo, 2004. "Bad Beta, Good Beta," Scholarly Articles 3122489, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2002. "The impact of monetary policy on asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Campbell, J.Y. & Ammer, J., 1991. "What Moves The Stock And Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition For Long- Term Asset Returns," Papers 127, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  12. Charles Evans & Kenneth Kuttner, 1998. "Can VARs describe monetary policy?," Research Paper 9812, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1995. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of Federal Reserve policy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  14. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2004. "Taking stock: monetary policy transmission to equity markets," Working Paper Series 0354, European Central Bank.
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  18. Goto, Shingo, 2000. "The Fed's Effect on Excess Returns and Inflation is Much Bigger Than You Think," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt04f1z5hb, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  19. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
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  21. John H. Boyd & Ravi Jagannathan & Jian Hu, 2001. "The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News is Usually Good for Stocks," NBER Working Papers 8092, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
  23. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  24. d'Amico, Stefania & Mira Farka, 2003. "The Fed and Stock Market: A Proxy and Instrumental Variable Identification," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 52, Royal Economic Society.
  25. Fuhrer, Jeff & Tootell, Geoff, 2008. "Eyes on the prize: How did the fed respond to the stock market?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 796-805, May.
  26. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  27. Brandt, Michael W. & Wang, Kevin Q., 2003. "Time-varying risk aversion and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1457-1498, October.
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