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Sentiment, Convergence of Opinion, and Market Crash

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  • Qingwei Wang

    () (Bangor University)

Abstract

I introduce a novel proxy of investor sentiment and differences of opinion among trendchasing investors to forecast skewness in daily aggregate stock market returns. The new proxy is an easy-to-construct, real time measure available at different frequencies for more than a century. Empirically I find that negative skewness is most pronounced when investors have experienced high sentiment. The role of differences of opinion depends on the states of average investor sentiment: it positively forecasts market skewness in an optimistic state, but negatively forecasts it in a pessimistic state. Conceptually, I provide an explanation for the role of differences of opinion based on the theory of Abreu and Brunnermeier (2003). I argue that convergence of opinion in an optimistic state indicates that the price run-up is unlikely to be sustained since fewer investors can remain net buyers in the future. Therefore rational arbitrageurs coordinate their attack on the bubble, leading to a market crash. Vice versa, the convergence of opinion in a pessimistic state promotes coordinated purchases among rational arbitrageurs, leading to a strong recovery.

Suggested Citation

  • Qingwei Wang, 2010. "Sentiment, Convergence of Opinion, and Market Crash," Working Papers 10012, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  • Handle: RePEc:bng:wpaper:10012
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    File URL: http://www.bangor.ac.uk/business/docs/BBSWP10012.pdf
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    investor sentiment; differences of opinion; technical trading; skewness; stock market crash;

    JEL classification:

    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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