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Stock market fluctuations and the term structure

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  • Chunsheng Zhou

Abstract

This paper uses the term structure of interest rates to explain the variations of stock prices and stock returns. It shows that interest rates have an important impact on stock returns, especially at long horizons. The hypothesis that expected stock returns move one-for-one with ex ante interest rates, which has been rejected strongly in other studies using short horizon data, is supported by long horizon data. The paper proposes, for the first time, a single measure---the present value of forward interest rates---to summarize the information of the term structure that is useful in characterizing the comovements of the equity market and the bond market, and finds that such a single measure explains a significant part of variation in dividend-price ratios. The paper also suggests that the high volatility of the stock market is related to the high volatility of long-term bond yields and may be accounted for by changing forecasts of discount rates. The findings of this paper are quite different from the typical findings of the previous work and may provide a reasonable economic explanation for the predictability of long-horizon stock returns.

Suggested Citation

  • Chunsheng Zhou, 1996. "Stock market fluctuations and the term structure," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-3, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:96-3
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1996/199603/199603abs.html
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Cifarelli, Giulio & Paladino, Giovanna, 2005. "Volatility linkages across three major equity markets: A financial arbitrage approach," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 413-439, April.
    2. Marco Aiolfi & Carlo Ambrogio Favero, "undated". "Model Uncertainty, Thick Modelling and the predictability of Stock Returns," Working Papers 221, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    3. Cowan, Adrian M. & Joutz, Frederick L., 2006. "An unobserved component model of asset pricing across financial markets," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 86-107.
    4. Evgenidis, Anastasios & Tsagkanos, Athanasios & Siriopoulos, Costas, 2017. "Towards an asymmetric long run equilibrium between stock market uncertainty and the yield spread. A threshold vector error correction approach," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 267-279.
    5. Kim, Sangbae & In, Francis, 2007. "On the relationship between changes in stock prices and bond yields in the G7 countries: Wavelet analysis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 167-179, April.
    6. Aloui, Chaker & Hammoudeh, Shawkat & Hamida, Hela Ben, 2015. "Co-movement between sharia stocks and sukuk in the GCC markets: A time-frequency analysis," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 69-79.
    7. Laopodis, Nikiforos T., 2009. "Fiscal policy and stock market efficiency: Evidence for the United States," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 633-650, May.
    8. Li, Matthew C., 2016. "US term structure and international stock market volatility: The role of the expectations factor and the maturity premium," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-15.

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