IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jfinec/v92y2009i3p519-544.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Technical analysis: An asset allocation perspective on the use of moving averages

Author

Listed:
  • Zhu, Yingzi
  • Zhou, Guofu

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the usefulness of technical analysis, specifically the widely employed moving average trading rule from an asset allocation perspective. We show that, when stock returns are predictable, technical analysis adds value to commonly used allocation rules that invest fixed proportions of wealth in stocks. When uncertainty exists about predictability, which is likely in practice, the fixed allocation rules combined with technical analysis can outperform the prior-dependent optimal learning rule when the prior is not too informative. Moreover, the technical trading rules are robust to model specification, and they tend to substantially outperform the model-based optimal trading strategies when the model governing the stock price is uncertain.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhu, Yingzi & Zhou, Guofu, 2009. "Technical analysis: An asset allocation perspective on the use of moving averages," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3), pages 519-544, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:92:y:2009:i:3:p:519-544
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304-405X(09)00036-1
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Michael W. Brandt & Pedro Santa-Clara, 2006. "Dynamic Portfolio Selection by Augmentingthe Asset Space," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(5), pages 2187-2217, October.
    2. John Y. Campbell & Luis M. Viceira, 1999. "Consumption and Portfolio Decisions when Expected Returns are Time Varying," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 433-495.
    3. Neely, Christopher J., 2002. "The temporal pattern of trading rule returns and exchange rate intervention: intervention does not generate technical trading profits," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 211-232, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Wachter, Jessica A., 2002. "Portfolio and Consumption Decisions under Mean-Reverting Returns: An Exact Solution for Complete Markets," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(01), pages 63-91, March.
    6. Andrew W. Lo & Harry Mamaysky & Jiang Wang, 2000. "Foundations of Technical Analysis: Computational Algorithms, Statistical Inference, and Empirical Implementation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1705-1770, August.
    7. Ryan Sullivan & Allan Timmermann & Halbert White, 1999. "Data-Snooping, Technical Trading Rule Performance, and the Bootstrap," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1647-1691, October.
    8. LeBaron, Blake, 1999. "Technical trading rule profitability and foreign exchange intervention," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 125-143, October.
    9. Shefrin, Hersh, 2008. "A Behavioral Approach to Asset Pricing," Elsevier Monographs, Elsevier, edition 2, number 9780123743565.
    10. Amit Goyal & Ivo Welch, 2003. "Predicting the Equity Premium with Dividend Ratios," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(5), pages 639-654, May.
    11. Schwert, G. William, 2003. "Anomalies and market efficiency," 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 15, pages 939-974 Elsevier.
    12. Lixin Huang & Hong Liu, 2007. "Rational Inattention and Portfolio Selection," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(4), pages 1999-2040, August.
    13. Lo, Andrew W & MacKinlay, A Craig, 1990. "Data-Snooping Biases in Tests of Financial Asset Pricing Models," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 3(3), pages 431-467.
    14. Gennotte, Gerard, 1986. " Optimal Portfolio Choice under Incomplete Information," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 733-746, July.
    15. Pastor, Lubos & Stambaugh, Robert F., 2000. "Comparing asset pricing models: an investment perspective," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(3), pages 335-381, June.
    16. Tu, Jun & Zhou, Guofu, 2004. "Data-generating process uncertainty: What difference does it make in portfolio decisions?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 385-421, May.
    17. J. Tobin, 1958. "Liquidity Preference as Behavior Towards Risk," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(2), pages 65-86.
    18. Yacine Aït-Sahalia, 2001. "Variable Selection for Portfolio Choice," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1297-1351, August.
    19. Ferson, Wayne E & Harvey, Campbell R, 1991. "The Variation of Economic Risk Premiums," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 385-415, April.
    20. Thomas Gehrig & Lukas Menkhoff, 2006. "Extended evidence on the use of technical analysis in foreign exchange," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(4), pages 327-338.
    21. Kim, Tong Suk & Omberg, Edward, 1996. "Dynamic Nonmyopic Portfolio Behavior," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(1), pages 141-161.
    22. Jeff Fleming, 2001. "The Economic Value of Volatility Timing," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 329-352, February.
    23. Fama, Eugene F. & Schwert, G. William, 1977. "Asset returns and inflation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 115-146, November.
    24. Campbell, John Y., 1987. "Stock returns and the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 373-399, June.
    25. Yihong Xia, 2001. "Learning about Predictability: The Effects of Parameter Uncertainty on Dynamic Asset Allocation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(1), pages 205-246, February.
    26. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    27. Grundy, Bruce D. & Kim, Youngsoo, 2002. "Stock Market Volatility in a Heterogeneous Information Economy," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 37(01), pages 1-27, March.
    28. Blume, Lawrence & Easley, David & O'Hara, Maureen, 1994. " Market Statistics and Technical Analysis: The Role of Volume," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 49(1), pages 153-181, March.
    29. Shleifer, Andrei, 2000. "Inefficient Markets: An Introduction to Behavioral Finance," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292272.
    30. Jun Liu, 2007. "Portfolio Selection in Stochastic Environments," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(1), pages 1-39, January.
    31. Nicholas Barberis, 2000. "Investing for the Long Run when Returns Are Predictable," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 225-264, February.
    32. John H. Cochrane, 2008. "The Dog That Did Not Bark: A Defense of Return Predictability," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 1533-1575, July.
    33. Allen, Franklin & Karjalainen, Risto, 1999. "Using genetic algorithms to find technical trading rules," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 245-271, February.
    34. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1999. "Predictive regressions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 375-421, December.
    35. Brock, William & Lakonishok, Josef & LeBaron, Blake, 1992. " Simple Technical Trading Rules and the Stochastic Properties of Stock Returns," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(5), pages 1731-1764, December.
    36. Jensen, Michael C & Bennington, George A, 1970. "Random Walks and Technical Theories: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 469-482, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:92:y:2009:i:3:p:519-544. 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). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505576 .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.