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What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?

Author

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  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Kenneth N. Kuttner

Abstract

This paper analyzes the impact of changes in monetary policy on equity prices, with the objectives both of measuring the average reaction of the stock market and also of understanding the economic sources of that reaction. We find that, on average, a hypothetical unanticipated 25-basis-point cut in the federal funds rate target is associated with about a one percent increase in broad stock indexes. Adapting a methodology due to Campbell (1991) and Campbell and Ammer (1993), we find that the effects of unanticipated monetary policy actions on expected excess returns account for the largest part of the response of stock prices.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2004. "What explains the stock market's reaction to Federal Reserve policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-16, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2004-16
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy ; Stock exchanges;

    JEL classification:

    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates

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