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Do Hedge Funds Manipulate Stock Prices?

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  • Ben-David, Itzhak
  • Franzoni, Francesco
  • Landier, Augustin
  • Moussawi, Rabih

Abstract

We find evidence of significant price manipulation at the stock level by hedge funds on critical reporting dates. Stocks in the top quartile by hedge fund holdings exhibit abnormal returns of 30 basis points in the last day of the month and a reversal of 25 basis points in the following day. Using intraday data, we show that a significant part of the return is earned during the last minutes of the last day of the month, at an increasing rate towards the closing bell. This evidence is consistent with hedge funds’ incentive to inflate their monthly performance by buying stocks that they hold in their portfolios. Higher manipulations occur with funds that have higher incentives to improve their ranking relative to their peers and a lower cost of doing so.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Toulouse School of Economics (TSE) in its series TSE Working Papers with number 11-221.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Publication status: Published in The Journal of Finance, vol.�68, n°6, décembre 2013, p.�2383-2434.
Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:24150

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  1. Campbell, John Y. & Ramadorai, Tarun & Schwartz, Allie, 2009. "Caught on tape: Institutional trading, stock returns, and earnings announcements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 66-91, April.
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  5. Itzhak Ben-David & Francesco Franzoni & Rabih Moussawi, 2012. "Hedge Fund Stock Trading in the Financial Crisis of 2007--2009," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(1), pages 1-54.
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  7. Amihud, Yakov, 2002. "Illiquidity and stock returns: cross-section and time-series effects," Journal of Financial Markets, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 31-56, January.
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  10. Getmansky, Mila & Lo, Andrew & Makarov, Igor, 2003. "An Econometric Model of Serial Correlation and Illiquidity In Hedge Fund Returns," Working papers 4288-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  11. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Franklin Allen & Lubomir Litov & Jianping Mei, 2006. "Large Investors, Price Manipulation, and Limits to Arbitrage: An Anatomy of Market Corners," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 10(4), pages 645-693, December.
  13. Daniel, Kent, et al, 1997. " Measuring Mutual Fund Performance with Characteristic-Based Benchmarks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(3), pages 1035-58, July.
  14. Xiaoyan Ni, Sophie & Pearson, Neil D. & Poteshman, Allen M., 2005. "Stock price clustering on option expiration dates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 49-87, October.
  15. Agarwal, Vikas & Fos, Vyacheslav & Jiang, Wei, 2010. "Inferring reporting biases in hedge fund databases from hedge fund equity holdings," CFR Working Papers 10-08, University of Cologne, Centre for Financial Research (CFR).
  16. Bollen, Nicolas P. B. & Pool, Veronika K., 2008. "Conditional Return Smoothing in the Hedge Fund Industry," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 43(02), pages 267-298, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Stivers, Chris & Sun, Licheng, 2013. "Returns and option activity over the option-expiration week for S&P 100 stocks," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4226-4240.

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