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Closing the question on the continuation of turn-of-the-month effects: evidence from the S&P 500 Index futures contract

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  • Edwin D. Maberly
  • Daniel F. Waggoner

Abstract

Prior research documents unusually high returns on the last trading day of the month and over the next three consecutive trading days. This phenomenon is known as the turn-of-the-month (TOTM) effect. According to Siegel (1998), why these anomalies occur is not well understood, and whether they will continue to be significant in the future is an open question. In this paper, we examine the S&P 500 futures contract for evidence that turn-of-the-month effects have continued. Transaction costs are low for index futures, and the absence of short-sale restrictions makes index futures an attractive venue for testing the continuation of market anomalies because of the low cost of arbitrage. We find that TOTM effects for S&P 500 futures disappear after 1990, and this result carries over to the S&P 500 spot market. We conjecture that a change in the preference of individual investors over time from making direct to making indirect stock purchases through mutual funds is related to the disappearance of the TOTM effect for more recent return data. In this paper, we argue that turn-of-the-month return patterns for both spot and futures prices are dynamic and related to market microstructure and therefore subject to change without notice. Financial economists should be careful when making out-of-sample inferences from observed in-sample return regularities.

Suggested Citation

  • Edwin D. Maberly & Daniel F. Waggoner, 2000. "Closing the question on the continuation of turn-of-the-month effects: evidence from the S&P 500 Index futures contract," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2000-11, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:2000-11
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sullivan, Ryan & Timmermann, Allan & White, Halbert, 1998. "Dangers of Data-Driven Inference: The Case of Calendar Effects in Stock Returns," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt2z02z6d9, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
    2. Ryan Sullivan & Allan Timmermann & Halbert White, 1999. "Data‐Snooping, Technical Trading Rule Performance, and the Bootstrap," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1647-1691, October.
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    6. Ogden, Joseph P, 1990. "Turn-of-Month Evaluations of Liquid Profits and Stock Returns: A Common Explanation for the Monthly and January Effects," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1259-1272, September.
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    Cited by:

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    2. Camilleri, Silvio John, 2008. "Month-Related Seasonality of Stock Price Volatility: Evidence from the Malta Stock Exchange," MPRA Paper 62493, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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