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Momentum, contrarian, and the January seasonality

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  • Yao, Yaqiong

Abstract

This paper reexamines the apparent success of two prominent stock trading strategies: long-term contrarian and intermediate-term momentum. The paper demonstrates that long-term contrarian is entirely attributable to the classic January size effect, rather than to investor overreaction, as argued by De Bondt and Thaler (1985). Further, the paper also resolves the Novy-Marx (2011) concern about whether return autocorrelation “is really momentum” by demonstrating that the superior performance of intermediate-term momentum is due to strong January seasonality in the cross-section of returns. The implications are that long-term contrarian must be considered largely illusory, and intermediate-term momentum must take account of annual seasonalities in returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Yao, Yaqiong, 2012. "Momentum, contrarian, and the January seasonality," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2757-2769.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:10:p:2757-2769
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbankfin.2011.12.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Bhootra, Ajay & Hur, Jungshik, 2013. "The timing of 52-week high price and momentum," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 3773-3782.
    2. Benjamin R. Auer, 2016. "Do Socially Responsible Investment Policies Add or Destroy European Stock Portfolio Value?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 381-397, May.
    3. Juan Carlos Matallín-Sáez & Amparo Soler-Domínguez & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2014. "On the robustness of persistence in mutual fund performance," Working Papers 2014/01, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    4. Vidal-García, Javier & Vidal, Marta, 2014. "Seasonality and idiosyncratic risk in mutual fund performance," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 233(3), pages 613-624.
    5. Auer, Benjamin R. & Schuhmacher, Frank, 2016. "Do socially (ir)responsible investments pay? New evidence from international ESG data," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 51-62.
    6. Yang, Ann Shawing, 2016. "Calendar trading of Taiwan stock market: A study of holidays on trading detachment and interruptions," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 140-154.
    7. repec:eee:riibaf:v:41:y:2017:i:c:p:292-302 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Minh Phuong Doan & Vitali Alexeev & Robert Brooks, 2016. "Concurrent momentum and contrarian strategies in the Australian stock market," Australian Journal of Management, Australian School of Business, vol. 41(1), pages 77-106, February.
    9. Auer, Benjamin R. & Rottmann, Horst, 2013. "Is there a Friday the 13th effect in ermerging Asian stock markets?," Weidener Diskussionspapiere 35, University of Applied Sciences Amberg-Weiden (OTH).
    10. repec:eee:reveco:v:53:y:2018:i:c:p:168-184 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. repec:eee:jbfina:v:82:y:2017:i:c:p:133-150 is not listed on IDEAS
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    13. Chen, Hong-Yi & Chen, Sheng-Syan & Hsin, Chin-Wen & Lee, Cheng-Few, 2014. "Does revenue momentum drive or ride earnings or price momentum?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 166-185.
    14. Matallín-Sáez, Juan Carlos & Soler-Domínguez, Amparo & Tortosa-Ausina, Emili, 2016. "On the robustness of persistence in mutual fund performance," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 192-231.
    15. Haga, Jesper, 2015. "Intermediate-term momentum and credit rating," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 15(C), pages 59-67.
    16. Bianchi, Robert J. & Drew, Michael E. & Fan, John Hua, 2015. "Combining momentum with reversal in commodity futures," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 423-444.
    17. Auer, Benjamin R., 2016. "On the performance of simple trading rules derived from the fractal dynamics of gold and silver price fluctuations," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 16(C), pages 255-267.
    18. Adam Zaremba, 2015. "The January seasonality and the performance of country-level value and momentum strategies," Copernican Journal of Finance & Accounting, Uniwersytet Mikolaja Kopernika, vol. 4(2), pages 195-209.
    19. Suliman Zakaria Suliman Abdalla, 2015. "An Investigation of the Month-of-The-Year Effect for the Sudanese Stock Market," Working Papers 924, Economic Research Forum, revised Jun 2015.
    20. Huai-Long Shi & Zhi-Qiang Jiang & Wei-Xing Zhou, 2015. "Profitability of contrarian strategies in the Chinese stock market," Papers 1505.00328, arXiv.org.
    21. Auer, Benjamin R. & Hoffmann, Andreas, 2016. "Do carry trade returns show signs of long memory?," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 201-208.
    22. Gong, Qiang & Liu, Ming & Liu, Qianqiu, 2015. "Momentum is really short-term momentum," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 169-182.
    23. Zakamulin, Valeriy, 2013. "Forecasting the size premium over different time horizons," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1061-1072.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Momentum; Contrarian; Seasonality; January;

    JEL classification:

    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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