IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Informed or speculative: Short selling analyst recommendations

  • Blau, Benjamin M.
  • Wade, Chip

Christophe et al. (2010) find evidence of abnormal short activity prior to analyst downgrades and argue that short sellers may be violating SEC insider-trading laws by trading on information obtained from analysts about upcoming downgrades. However, observing abnormal shorting prior to downgrades is not tantamount to determining that short sellers are trading on tips from analysts unless shorting is abnormally low prior to upgrades. This paper revisits this issue. While we observe abnormal shorting prior to downgrades, we also find markedly higher shorting prior to upgrades. In fact, the short-selling patterns surrounding both downgrades and upgrades are remarkably symmetric indicating that short sellers during the pre-recommendation period are not unusually informed about the direction of upcoming recommendation changes. If anything, our findings indicate that short selling prior to analyst recommendations is more likely speculative than informed.

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/S0378426611001907
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 Banking & Finance.

Volume (Year): 36 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 14-25

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:14-25
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbf

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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Alon Brav & Reuven Lehavy, 2003. "An Empirical Analysis of Analysts' Target Prices: Short-term Informativeness and Long-term Dynamics," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 1933-1968, October.
  5. Jennifer L. Juergens & Laura Lindsey, 2009. "Getting Out Early: An Analysis of Market Making Activity at the Recommending Analyst's Firm," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(5), pages 2327-2359, October.
  6. Karl B. Diether & Christopher J. Malloy & Anna Scherbina, 2002. "Differences of Opinion and the Cross Section of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(5), pages 2113-2141, October.
  7. Figlewski, Stephen & Webb, Gwendolyn P, 1993. " Options, Short Sales, and Market Completeness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 761-77, June.
  8. Engelberg, Joseph E. & Reed, Adam V. & Ringgenberg, Matthew C., 2012. "How are shorts informed?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 260-278.
  9. Womack, Kent L, 1996. " Do Brokerage Analysts' Recommendations Have Investment Value?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 51(1), pages 137-67, March.
  10. Nagel, Stefan, 2005. "Short sales, institutional investors and the cross-section of stock returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 277-309, November.
  11. Xin Chang & Sudipto Dasgupta & Gilles Hilary, 2006. "Analyst Coverage and Financing Decisions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 3009-3048, December.
  12. 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.
  13. Tom Arnold & Alexander W. Butler & Timothy Falcon Crack & Yan Zhang, 2005. "The Information Content of Short Interest: A Natural Experiment," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(4), pages 1307-1336, July.
  14. Cohen, Lauren & Diether, Karl B. & Malloy, Christopher J., 2005. "Supply and Demand Shifts in the Shorting Market," Working Paper Series 2005-8, Ohio State University, Charles A. Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics.
  15. Lakonishok, Josef & Vermaelen, Theo, 1986. "Tax-induced trading around ex-dividend days," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 287-319, July.
  16. Harrison Hong & Terence Lim & Jeremy C. Stein, 2000. "Bad News Travels Slowly: Size, Analyst Coverage, and the Profitability of Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 265-295, 02.
  17. Jonathan M. Karpoff & Xiaoxia Lou, 2010. "Short Sellers and Financial Misconduct," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 65(5), pages 1879-1913, October.
  18. Jianguo Xu, 2007. "Price Convexity and Skewness," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(5), pages 2521-2552, October.
  19. Louis K. C. Chan & Jason Karceski & Josef Lakonishok, 2003. "The Level and Persistence of Growth Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(2), pages 643-684, 04.
  20. Edwards, Amy K. & Hanley, Kathleen Weiss, 2010. "Short selling in initial public offerings," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 21-39, October.
  21. Chen, Hsuan-Chi & Hao, (Grace) Qing, 2011. "Insider trading law enforcement and gross spreads of ADR IPOs," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1907-1917, August.
  22. 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.
  23. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Danielsen, Bartley R. & Sorescu, Sorin M., 2001. "Why Do Option Introductions Depress Stock Prices? A Study of Diminishing Short Sale Constraints," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(04), pages 451-484, December.
  27. Richard B. Evans & Christopher C. Geczy & Adam V. Reed, 2009. "Failure Is an Option: Impediments to Short Selling and Options Prices," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(5), pages 1955-1980, May.
  28. Busse, Jeffrey A. & Clifton Green, T., 2002. "Market efficiency in real time," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 415-437, September.
  29. Brad Barber, 2001. "Can Investors Profit from the Prophets? Security Analyst Recommendations and Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(2), pages 531-563, 04.
  30. Richard W. Sias, 2004. "Institutional Herding," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 17(1), pages 165-206.
  31. Lim, Bryan Y., 2011. "Short-sale constraints and price bubbles," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 2443-2453, September.
  32. 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.
  33. Senchack, A. J. & Starks, Laura T., 1993. "Short-Sale Restrictions and Market Reaction to Short-Interest Announcements," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 177-194, June.
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:jbfina:v:36:y:2012:i:1:p:14-25. 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: (Zhang, Lei)

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.