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What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?

  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Kenneth N. Kuttner

This paper analyzes the impact of unanticipated changes in the Federal funds target on equity prices, with the aim of both estimating the size of the typical reaction, and understanding the reasons for the market's response. On average over the May 1989 to December 2001 sample, a "typical" unanticipated 25 basis point rate cut has been associated with a 1.3 percent increase in the S&P 500 composite index. The estimated response varies considerably across industries, with the greatest sensitivity observed in cyclical industries like construction, and the smallest in mining and utilities. Very little of the market's reaction can be attributed to policy's effects on the real rate of interest or future dividends, however. Instead, most of the response of the current excess return on equities can be traced to policy's impact on expected future excess returns.

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Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its journal Proceedings.

Volume (Year): (2003)
Issue (Month): Mar ()
Pages: -

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfpr:y:2003:i:mar:x:1
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  1. Jon Faust & Eric T. Swanson & Jonathan H. Wright, 2002. "Identifying vars based on high frequency futures data," International Finance Discussion Papers 720, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  3. Fuhrer, Jeff & Tootell, Geoff, 2008. "Eyes on the prize: How did the fed respond to the stock market?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 796-805, May.
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  9. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
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  13. Ray Fair, 2003. "Events that Shook the Market," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm307, Yale School of Management.
  14. Brandt, Michael W. & Wang, Kevin Q., 2003. "Time-varying risk aversion and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1457-1498, October.
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  17. Goto, Shingo, 2000. "The Fed's Effect on Excess Returns and Inflation is Much Bigger Than You Think," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt04f1z5hb, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  18. Demiralp, Selva & Jorda, Oscar, 2004. "The Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 387-405, June.
  19. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
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  24. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2003. "Measuring The Reaction of Monetary Policy to the Stock Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(2), pages 639-669.
  25. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2004. "Taking stock: monetary policy transmission to equity markets," Working Paper Series 0354, European Central Bank.
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  27. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1995. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of Federal Reserve policy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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