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An alternative approach to investigating lead-lag relationships between stock and stock index futures markets


  • Chris Brooks
  • Ian Garrett
  • Melvin Hinich


In the absence of market frictions, the cost-of-carry model of stock index futures pricing predicts that returns on the underlying stock index and the associated stock index futures contract will be perfectly contemporaneously correlated. Evidence suggests, however, that this prediction is violated with clear evidence that the stock index futures market leads the stock market. It is argued that traditional tests, which assume that the underlying data generating process is constant, might be prone to overstate the lead-lag relationship. Using a new test for lead-lag relationships based on cross correlations and cross bicorrelations it is found that, contrary to results from using the traditional methodology, periods where the futures market leads the cash market are few and far between and when any lead-lag relationship is detected, it does not last long. Overall, the results are consistent with the prediction of the standard cost-of-carry model and market efficiency.

Suggested Citation

  • Chris Brooks & Ian Garrett & Melvin Hinich, 1999. "An alternative approach to investigating lead-lag relationships between stock and stock index futures markets," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(6), pages 605-613.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:apfiec:v:9:y:1999:i:6:p:605-613
    DOI: 10.1080/096031099332050

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Grossman, Sanford J & Miller, Merton H, 1988. " Liquidity and Market Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 617-637, July.
    2. Anthony F. Herbst & Joseph P. McCormack & Elizabeth N. West, 1987. "Investigation of a leadā€lag relationship between spot stock indices and their futures contracts," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(4), pages 373-381, August.
    3. Lo, Andrew W. & Craig MacKinlay, A., 1990. "An econometric analysis of nonsynchronous trading," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1-2), pages 181-211.
    4. Hsieh, David A, 1991. " Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics: Application to Financial Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(5), pages 1839-1877, December.
    5. Chan, Kalok, 1992. "A Further Analysis of the Lead-Lag Relationship between the Cash Market and Stock Index Futures Market," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(1), pages 123-152.
    6. Stoll, Hans R. & Whaley, Robert E., 1990. "The Dynamics of Stock Index and Stock Index Futures Returns," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 25(04), pages 441-468, December.
    7. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-438, July.
    8. Kawaller, Ira G & Koch, Paul D & Koch, Timothy W, 1987. " The Temporal Price Relationship between S&P 500 Futures and the S and P 500 Index," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(5), pages 1309-1329, December.
    9. Grunbichler Andreas & Longstaff Francis A. & Schwartz Eduardo S., 1994. "Electronic Screen Trading and the Transmission of Information: An Empirical Examination," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 166-187, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jahangir Sultan & Mohammad Hasan, 2008. "The effectiveness of dynamic hedging: evidence from selected European stock index futures," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(6), pages 469-488.
    2. repec:eee:riibaf:v:46:y:2018:i:c:p:528-536 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Mohammad Hasan, 2005. "An alternative approach in investigating lead--lag relationships between stock and stock index futures markets -- comment," Applied Financial Economics Letters, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 125-130, March.

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