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The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News Is Usually Good for Stocks


We find that on average, an announcement of rising unemployment is good news for stocks during economic expansions and bad news during economic contractions. Unemployment news bundles three types of primitive information relevant for valuing stocks: information about future interest rates, the equity risk premium, and corporate earnings and dividends. The nature of the information bundle, and hence the relative importance of the three effects, changes over time depending on the state of the economy. For stocks as a group, information about interest rates dominates during expansions and information about future corporate dividends dominates during contractions. Copyright 2005 by The American Finance Association.

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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal The Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 60 (2005)
Issue (Month): 2 (04)
Pages: 649-672

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:60:y:2005:i:2:p:649-672
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  1. Jagannathan, Ravi & Kubota, Keiichi & Takehara, Hitoshi, 1998. "Relationship between Labor-Income Risk and Average Return: Empirical Evidence from the Japanese Stock Market," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 71(3), pages 319-47, July.
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  14. David K. Backus & Allan W. Gregory, 1992. "Theoretical Relations Between Risk Premiums and Conditional Variances," Working Papers 92-18a, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  15. Lawrence R. Glosten & Ravi Jagannathan & David E. Runkle, 1993. "On the relation between the expected value and the volatility of the nominal excess return on stocks," Staff Report 157, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
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