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Stock market fluctuations and the term structure

  • Chunsheng Zhou

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.

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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1996/199603/199603abs.html
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File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/feds/1996/199603/199603pap.pdf
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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 96-3.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:96-3
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  1. James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Mean Reversion in Stock Prices: Evidence and Implications," NBER Working Papers 2343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Do Stock Prices Move Too Much to be Justified by Subsequent Changes in Dividends?," NBER Working Papers 0456, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Schwert, G William, 1981. "The Adjustment of Stock Prices to Information about Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 36(1), pages 15-29, March.
  4. Campbell, John Y., 1987. "Stock returns and the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 373-399, June.
  5. Robert J. Shiller & Andrea E. Beltratti, 1990. "Stock Prices and Bond Yields: Can Their Comovements Be Explained in Terms of Present Value Models?," NBER Working Papers 3464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Shapiro, Matthew D, 1985. " An Unbiased Reexamination of Stock Market Volatility," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 677-87, July.
  7. Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. " Does the Stock Market Rationally Reflect Fundamental Values?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(3), pages 591-601, July.
  8. Ammer, John & Campbell, John, 1993. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," Scholarly Articles 3382857, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Vasicek, Oldrich, 1977. "An equilibrium characterization of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 177-188, November.
  10. Campbell, John Y & Shiller, Robert J, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514, May.
  11. Keim, Donald B. & Stambaugh, Robert F., 1986. "Predicting returns in the stock and bond markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 357-390, December.
  12. Barsky, Robert B, 1989. "Why Don't the Prices of Stocks and Bonds Move Together?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1132-45, December.
  13. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  14. Kenneth D. West, 1986. "Dividend Innovations and Stock Price Volatility," NBER Working Papers 1833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Singleton, Kenneth J, 1980. "Expectations Models of the Term Structure and Implied Variance Bounds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(6), pages 1159-76, December.
  16. Ferson, Wayne E & Korajczyk, Robert A, 1995. "Do Arbitrage Pricing Models Explain the Predictability of Stock Returns?," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 309-49, July.
  17. John Y. Campbell, 1995. "Some Lessons from the Yield Curve," NBER Working Papers 5031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Stulz, Rene M, 1986. " Asset Pricing and Expected Inflation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 41(1), pages 209-23, March.
  19. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  20. Shmuel Kandel & Robert F. Stambaugh, . "Modeling Expected Stock Returns for Long and Short Horizons," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 42-88, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  21. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. " Characterizing Predictable Components in Excess Returns on Equity and Foreign Exchange Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 47(2), pages 467-509, June.
  22. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
  23. Campbell, John, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Scholarly Articles 3207695, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  24. John H. Cochrane, 1992. "Explaining the Variance of Price Dividend Ratios," NBER Working Papers 3157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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