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What Moves Stock Prices?

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  • David H. Cutler
  • James M. Poterba
  • Lawrence H. Summers

Abstract

This paper estimates the fraction of the variance in aggregate stock returns that can be attributed to various kinds of news. First, we consider macroeconomic news and show that it is difficult to explain more than one third of the return variance from this source. Second, to explore the possibility that the stock market responds to information that is omitted from our specifications, we also examine market moves coincident with major political and world events. The relatively small market responses to such news, along with evidence that large market moves often occur on days without any identifiable major news releases, casts doubt on the view that stock price movements are fully explicable by news about future cash flows and discount rates.
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Suggested Citation

  • David H. Cutler & James M. Poterba & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "What Moves Stock Prices?," Working papers 487, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mit:worpap:487
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