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What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?

  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Kenneth N. Kuttner

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10402.

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Date of creation: Apr 2004
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Publication status: published as Bernanke, Ben S., and Kenneth N. Kuttner. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?" Journal of Finance 60(3): 1221-1257, June 2005
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10402
Note: ME
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  1. Fama, Eugene F & French, Kenneth R, 1988. "Permanent and Temporary Components of Stock Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 246-73, April.
  2. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
  3. Charles L. Evans & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1998. "Can VAR's describe monetary policy?," Working Paper Series WP-98-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. John H. Boyd & Jian Hu & Ravi Jagannathan, 2005. "The Stock Market's Reaction to Unemployment News: Why Bad News Is Usually Good for Stocks," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(2), pages 649-672, 04.
  5. Refet S. G├╝rkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2006. "Market-based measures of monetary policy expectations," Working Paper Series 2006-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Demiralp, Selva & Jorda, Oscar, 2004. "The Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 387-405, June.
  7. Ray C. Fair, 2000. "Events that Shook the Market," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm149, Yale School of Management.
  8. Goto, Shingo, 2000. "The Fed's Effect on Excess Returns and Inflation is Much Bigger Than You Think," University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management qt04f1z5hb, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA.
  9. Brandt, Michael W. & Wang, Kevin Q., 2003. "Time-varying risk aversion and unexpected inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1457-1498, October.
  10. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  11. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  12. Jon Faust & Eric Swanson & and Jonathan H. Wright, 2002. "Identifying vars based on high frequency futures data," International Finance Discussion Papers 720, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Campbell, John Y, 1991. "A Variance Decomposition for Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(405), pages 157-79, March.
  14. John Y. Campbell & John Ammer, 1991. "What Moves the Stock and Bond Markets? A Variance Decomposition for Long-Term Asset Returns," NBER Working Papers 3760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Fuhrer, Jeff & Tootell, Geoff, 2008. "Eyes on the prize: How did the fed respond to the stock market?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 796-805, May.
  16. Roberto Rigobon & Brian Sack, 2001. "Measuring the Reaction of Monetary Policy to the Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 8350, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Roberto Rigobon & Brian P. Sack, 2002. "The Impact of Monetary Policy on Asset Prices," NBER Working Papers 8794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. d'Amico, Stefania & Mira Farka, 2003. "The Fed and Stock Market: A Proxy and Instrumental Variable Identification," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 52, Royal Economic Society.
  19. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1999. "Monetary policy and asset price volatility," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-128.
  20. John Y. Campbell & Tuomo Vuolteenaho, 2003. "Bad Beta, Good Beta," NBER Working Papers 9509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Monika Piazzesi, 2002. "The Fed and Interest Rates - A High-Frequency Identification," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 90-95, May.
  22. Willem Thorbecke, 1998. "On Stock Market Returns and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 9812009, EconWPA.
  23. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2004. "Taking stock: monetary policy transmission to equity markets," Working Paper Series 0354, European Central Bank.
  24. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  25. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of federal reserve policy," Journal of Futures Markets, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(8), pages 865-879, December.
  26. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  27. Joel T. Krueger & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1995. "The Fed funds futures rate as a predictor of Federal Reserve policy," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  28. Nelson, Charles R & Kim, Myung J, 1993. " Predictable Stock Returns: The Role of Small Sample Bias," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(2), pages 641-61, June.
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