IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Aggregate short selling, commonality, and stock market returns

Listed author(s):
  • Lynch, Andrew
  • Nikolic, Biljana
  • Yan, Xuemin (Sterling)
  • Yu, Han
Registered author(s):

    Using a comprehensive data set of short-sale transactions, we find strong evidence of commonality in daily shorting flows of individual stocks. More importantly, we find that aggregate shorting forecasts market returns. A one standard deviation increase in daily aggregate shorting is associated with a decrease in market excess return by up to 36bps over the following 10 trading days (9% annualized). In addition, we find modest evidence that short sellers are informed about future aggregate earnings news, macroeconomic news, and investor sentiment. Overall, our results are consistent with short sellers possessing superior short-term market-wide information.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1386418113000141
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Financial Markets.

    Volume (Year): 17 (2014)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 199-229

    as
    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:finmar:v:17:y:2014:i:c:p:199-229
    DOI: 10.1016/j.finmar.2013.05.001
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/finmar

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    as
    in new window


    1. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
    2. John Y. Campbell & Sanford J. Grossman & Jiang Wang, 1992. "Trading Volume and Serial Correlation in Stock Returns," NBER Working Papers 4193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Ofek, Eli & Richardson, Matthew & Whitelaw, Robert F., 2004. "Limited arbitrage and short sales restrictions: evidence from the options markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 305-342, November.
    4. Boehmer, Ekkehart & Huszar, Zsuzsa R. & Jordan, Bradford D., 2010. "The good news in short interest," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 80-97, April.
    5. Owen A. Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 2003. "Aggregate Short Interest and Market Valuations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2027, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    6. Wayne E. Ferson & Campbell R. Harvey, 1999. "Conditioning Variables and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1325-1360, 08.
    7. John S. Howe & Emre Unlu & Xuemin (Sterling) Yan, 2009. "The Predictive Content of Aggregate Analyst Recommendations," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 799-821, 06.
    8. Barberis, Nicholas & Thaler, Richard, 2003. "A survey of behavioral finance," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, in: G.M. Constantinides & M. Harris & R. M. Stulz (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Finance, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 18, pages 1053-1128 Elsevier.
    9. Newey, Whitney & West, Kenneth, 2014. "A simple, positive semi-definite, heteroscedasticity and autocorrelation consistent covariance matrix," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 33(1), pages 125-132.
    10. Michael J. Aitken & Alex Frino & Michael S. McCorry & Peter L. Swan, 1998. "Short Sales Are Almost Instantaneously Bad News: Evidence from the Australian Stock Exchange," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2205-2223, December.
    11. Jones, Charles M. & Lamont, Owen A., 2002. "Short-sale constraints and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 207-239.
    12. Christophe, Stephen E. & Ferri, Michael G. & Hsieh, Jim, 2010. "Informed trading before analyst downgrades: Evidence from short sellers," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 85-106, January.
    13. Alessandro Beber & Michael W. Brandt & Kenneth A. Kavajecz, 2010. "What Does Equity Sector Orderflow Tell Us about the Economy?," NBER Working Papers 16534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Laura Veldkamp & Justin Wolfers, 2006. "Aggregate Shocks or Aggregate Information? Costly Information and Business Cycle Comovement," NBER Working Papers 12557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Chordia, Tarun & Roll, Richard & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 2000. "Order Imbalance, Liquidity, and Market Returns," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt7gh9t9w3, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
    16. Asquith, Paul & Pathak, Parag A. & Ritter, Jay R., 2005. "Short interest, institutional ownership, and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 243-276, November.
    17. Stephen E. Christophe & Michael G. Ferri & James J. Angel, 2004. "Short-Selling Prior to Earnings Announcements," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1845-1876, 08.
    18. H. Nejat Seyhun, 1992. "Why Does Aggregate Insider Trading Predict Future Stock Returns?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1303-1331.
    19. Geczy, Christopher C. & Musto, David K. & Reed, Adam V., 2002. "Stocks are special too: an analysis of the equity lending market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2-3), pages 241-269.
    20. Gregory W. Brown & Michael T. Cliff, 2005. "Investor Sentiment and Asset Valuation," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 405-440, March.
    21. Bruce N. Lehmann, 1988. "Fads, Martingales, and Market Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 2533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Hasbrouck, Joel & Seppi, Duane J., 2001. "Common factors in prices, order flows, and liquidity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 383-411, March.
    23. Kamara, Avraham & Lou, Xiaoxia & Sadka, Ronnie, 2008. "The divergence of liquidity commonality in the cross-section of stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 444-466, September.
    24. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2000. "The Equity Share in New Issues and Aggregate Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(5), pages 2219-2257, October.
    25. Diamond, Douglas W. & Verrecchia, Robert E., 1987. "Constraints on short-selling and asset price adjustment to private information," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 277-311, June.
    26. Dechow, Patricia M. & Hutton, Amy P. & Meulbroek, Lisa & Sloan, Richard G., 2001. "Short-sellers, fundamental analysis, and stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 77-106, July.
    27. Karl B. Diether & Kuan-Hui Lee & Ingrid M. Werner, 2009. "Short-Sale Strategies and Return Predictability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(2), pages 575-607, February.
    28. Andrei Shleifer ad Robert W. Vishny, 1995. "The Limits of Arbitrage," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1725, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    29. Lauren Cohen & Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy, 2007. "Supply and Demand Shifts in the Shorting Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2061-2096, October.
    30. Jones, Charles M & Kaul, Gautam & Lipson, Marc L, 1994. "Transactions, Volume, and Volatility," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(4), pages 631-651.
    31. Fama, Eugene F & MacBeth, James D, 1973. "Risk, Return, and Equilibrium: Empirical Tests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(3), pages 607-636, May-June.
    32. Hirshleifer, David, 2001. "Investor Psychology and Asset Pricing," MPRA Paper 5300, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    33. Jonathan M. Karpoff & Xiaoxia Lou, 2010. "Short Sellers and Financial Misconduct," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1879-1913, October.
    34. Hemang Desai & K. Ramesh & S. Ramu Thiagarajan & Bala V. Balachandran, 2002. "An Investigation of the Informational Role of Short Interest in the Nasdaq Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2263-2287, October.
    35. Joseph J. Seneca, 1967. "Short Interest: Bearish Or Bullish?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 22(1), pages 67-70, 03.
    36. Bruce N. Lehmann, 1990. "Fads, Martingales, and Market Efficiency," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(1), pages 1-28.
    37. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2007. "Investor Sentiment in the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 13189, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    38. Seyhun, H Nejat, 1988. "The Information Content of Aggregate Insider Trading," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61(1), pages 1-24, January.
    39. Chordia, Tarun & Roll, Richard & Subrahmanyam, Avanidhar, 2000. "Commonality in liquidity," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(1), pages 3-28, April.
    40. Jegadeesh, Narasimhan, 1990. " Evidence of Predictable Behavior of Security Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(3), pages 881-898, July.
    41. Rui Albuquerque & Eva De Francisco & Luis B. Marques, 2008. "Marketwide Private Information in Stocks: Forecasting Currency Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(5), pages 2297-2343, October.
    42. Mark Hanna, 1968. "Short Interest: Bullish Or Bearish?—Comment," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(3), pages 520-523, 06.
    43. Ekkehart Boehmer & Charles M. Jones & Xiaoyan Zhang, 2008. "Which Shorts Are Informed?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 63(2), pages 491-527, 04.
    44. Lakonishok, Josef & Lee, Inmoo, 2001. "Are Insider Trades Informative?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(1), pages 79-111.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:finmar:v:17:y:2014:i:c:p:199-229. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.