U.S. stock returns and oil prices: The tale from daily data and the 2008–2009 financial crisis
Using daily data from January 1999 to December 2011, we examine U.S. stock returns (S&P 500, Dow Jones, NASDAQ, and Russell 2000) based on a wide range of information, including equity VIX volatility, inflation expectations, interest rates, gold prices, and the USD/Euro exchange rate. The focus is on oil price returns, which have been previously found to exert mostly negative effects on U.S. stock returns. Identifying the crisis of 2008–2009 as a significant period of economic contraction and subsequent “recovery”, we check the stability of the stock-oil relationship by GARCH and MGARCH-DCC models. Prior to the financial crisis, stock returns are slightly (negatively) affected by oil prices and by the USD/Euro. For the subsample of mid-2009 onwards, however, stock returns are positively affected by oil prices and a weaker USD/Euro. As with inflation expectations, we interpret these findings as U.S. stocks responding positively to expectations of recovery worldwide. Our proposed explanation is due to the changing correlation between stock markets and oil, either by standard GARCH models or by MGARCH-DCC models allowing the implied correlation to vary over time.
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