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The Economic Value of Predicting Stock Index Returns and Volatility

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  • Wessel Marquering
  • Marno Verbeek

Abstract

In this paper, we analyze the economic value of predicting index returns as well as volatility. On the basis of fairly simple linear models, estimated recursively, we produce genuine out-of-sample forecasts for the return on the S\&P 500 index and its volatility. Using monthly data from 1954 to 1998, we test the statistical significance of return and volatility predictability and examine the economic value of a number of alternative trading strategies. We find strong evidence for market timing in both returns and volatility. Joint tests indicate no dependence between return and volatility timing, while it appears easier to forecast returns when volatility is high. For a mean-variance investor, this predictability is economically profitable, even if short sales are not allowed and transaction costs are quite large.

Suggested Citation

  • Wessel Marquering & Marno Verbeek, 2000. "The Economic Value of Predicting Stock Index Returns and Volatility," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0020, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces0020
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 2001. "Marginal tax reform, externalities and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(2), pages 343-363, February.
    2. De Borger, Bruno, 2001. "Discrete choice models and optimal two-part tariffs in the presence of externalities: optimal taxation of cars," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 471-504, July.
    3. Frank Verboven, 1996. "International Price Discrimination in the European Car Market," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 240-268, Summer.
    4. Parry, Ian W H & Bento, Antonio, 2001. " Revenue Recycling and the Welfare Effects of Road Pricing," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 103(4), pages 645-671, December.
    5. Proost, Stef & Van Dender, Kurt, 2001. "The welfare impacts of alternative policies to address atmospheric pollution in urban road transport," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 383-411, July.
    6. Mayeres, Inge & Proost, Stef, 1997. " Optimal Tax and Public Investment Rules for Congestion Type of Externalities," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 99(2), pages 261-279, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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