Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices
A slowly mean-reverting component of stock prices tends to induce negative autocorrelation in returns. The autocorrelation is weak for the daily and weekly holding periods common in market efficiency tests but stronger for long-horizon returns. In tests for the 1926-85 period, large negative autocorrelations for return horizons beyond a year suggest that predictable price variation due to mean reversion accounts for large fractions of 3 to 5-year return variances. Predictable variation is estimated to be about 40 percent of 3 to 5-year return variances for portfolios of small firms. The percentage falls to around 25 percent for portfolios of large firms. Copyright 1988 by University of Chicago Press.
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