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Credit Default Swaps and Equity Prices: The Itraxx CDS Index Market

In this paper we provide some early evidence of a link between the iTraxx credit default swap (CDS) index market and the stock market. To our knowledge this is the first paper studying this relationship. Knowledge about the link between stock prices, stock return volatilities and CDS spreads is important not only for risk managers using credit default swaps for hedging purposes, but also to anyone trying to profit from arbitrage possibilities in the CDS market. For a sample of European sectoral iTraxx CDS indexes, a correlation study reveals a tendency for iTraxx CDS spreads to narrow when stock prices rise and vice versa. Furthermore, there is some evidence of firm-specific information being embedded into stock prices before it is embedded into CDS spreads. Stock price volatility is also found to be significantly correlated with CDS spreads and the spreads are found to increase (decrease) with increasing (decreasing) stock price volatilities. Finally, we find significant positive autocorrelation in the iTraxx market.

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File URL: http://project.nek.lu.se/publications/workpap/Papers/WP05_24.pdf
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Paper provided by Lund University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2005:24.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: 11 Mar 2005
Date of revision: 15 May 2005
Publication status: Published in Credit Risk - Models, Derivatives, and Management, Wagner, Niklas (eds.), 2008, pages 69-83, Chapman & Hall.
Handle: RePEc:hhs:lunewp:2005_024
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund,Sweden
Phone: +46 +46 222 0000
Fax: +46 +46 2224613
Web page: http://www.nek.lu.se/en
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  1. John Y. Campbell & Glen B. Taksler, 2002. "Equity Volatility and Corporate Bond Yields," NBER Working Papers 8961, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pierre Collin-Dufresne, 2001. "The Determinants of Credit Spread Changes," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2177-2207, December.
  3. Merton, Robert C, 1974. "On the Pricing of Corporate Debt: The Risk Structure of Interest Rates," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 29(2), pages 449-70, May.
  4. Roberto Blanco & Simon Brennan & Ian W. Marsh, 2004. "An empirical analysis of the dynamic relationship between investment grade bonds and credit default swaps," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0401, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Hans Byström, 2003. "Merton for Dummies: A Flexible Way of Modelling Default Risk," Research Paper Series 112, Quantitative Finance Research Centre, University of Technology, Sydney.
  6. Clare, Andrew & Priestley, Richard, 2002. "Calculating the probability of failure of the Norwegian banking sector," Journal of Multinational Financial Management, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 21-40, February.
  7. Kwan, Simon H., 1996. "Firm-specific information and the correlation between individual stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 63-80, January.
  8. Fama, Eugene F. & French, Kenneth R., 1993. "Common risk factors in the returns on stocks and bonds," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 3-56, February.
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