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Do Retail Trades Move Markets?

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  • Brad M. Barber
  • Terrance Odean
  • Ning Zhu

Abstract

We study the trading of individual investors using transaction data and identifying buyer- or seller-initiated trades. We document four results: (1) Small trade order imbalance correlates well with order imbalance based on trades from retail brokers. (2) Individual investors herd. (3) When measured annually, small trade order imbalance forecasts future returns; stocks heavily bought underperform stocks heavily sold by 4.4 percentage points the following year. (4) Over a weekly horizon, small trade order imbalance reliably predicts returns, but in the opposite direction; stocks heavily bought one week earn strong returns the subsequent week, while stocks heavily sold earn poor returns. The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Society for Financial Studies. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oxfordjournals.org, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Brad M. Barber & Terrance Odean & Ning Zhu, 2009. "Do Retail Trades Move Markets?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(1), pages 151-186, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:22:y:2009:i:1:p:151-186
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/rfs/hhn035
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