Oil prices, SUVs, and Iraq: An investigation of automobile manufacturer oil price sensitivity
There has been much speculation about the recent upsurge in crude oil prices and the effect it will have on the economy and business. The objective of this paper is to investigate the relationship between oil prices and stock prices of automobile manufacturers. We add an oil price factor, measured alternatively by the excess change in WTI crude oil prices or the excess return on an energy ETF, to the Fama-French three-factor model over the period March 20, 2001 to September 30, 2008. Our dependent variable is the excess return on a price-weighted index of automobile manufacturers. Results indicate that oil prices add value to the pricing model, particularly for manufacturers specializing in SUVs and for a subperiod following the Iraq invasion on March 19, 2003.
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