IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/2977.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

When are Contrarian Profits Due to Stock Market Overreaction?

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew W. Lo
  • A. Craig MacKinlay

Abstract

The profitability of contrarian investment strategies need not be the result of stock market overreaction. Even if returns on individual securities are temporally independent, portfolio strategies that attempt to exploit return reversals may still earn positive expected profits. This is due to the effects of cross-autocovariances from which contrarian strategies inadvertently benefit. We provide an informal taxonomy of return-generating processes that yield positive [and negative] expected profits under a particular contrarian portfolio strategy, and use this taxonomy to reconcile the empirical findings of weak negative autocorrelation for returns on individual stocks with the strong positive autocorrelation of portfolio returns. We present empirical evidence against overreaction as the primary source of contrarian profits, and show the presence of important lead-lag relations across securities.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew W. Lo & A. Craig MacKinlay, 1989. "When are Contrarian Profits Due to Stock Market Overreaction?," NBER Working Papers 2977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2977
    Note: ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2977.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. De Long, J Bradford, et al, 1990. " Positive Feedback Investment Strategies and Destabilizing Rational Speculation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(2), pages 379-395, June.
    2. Scholes, Myron & Williams, Joseph, 1977. "Estimating betas from nonsynchronous data," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 309-327, December.
    3. Andrew W. Lo, A. Craig MacKinlay, 1988. "Stock Market Prices do not Follow Random Walks: Evidence from a Simple Specification Test," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 1(1), pages 41-66.
    4. 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 246-273, April.
    5. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
    6. Kim, M.J. & Nelson, C.R. & Startz, R., 1988. "Mean Reversion In Stock Prices? A Reappraisal Of Empirical Evidence," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 88-15, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    7. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard H, 1987. " Further Evidence on Investor Overreaction and Stock Market Seasonalit y," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(3), pages 557-581, July.
    8. Bruce N. Lehmann, 1988. "Fads, Martingales, and Market Efficiency," NBER Working Papers 2533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. De Bondt, Werner F M & Thaler, Richard, 1985. " Does the Stock Market Overreact?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 793-805, July.
    11. Phillips, P C B, 1987. "Time Series Regression with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 277-301, March.
    12. Fama, Eugene F, 1970. "Efficient Capital Markets: A Review of Theory and Empirical Work," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 383-417, May.
    13. Roll, Richard, 1984. " A Simple Implicit Measure of the Effective Bid-Ask Spread in an Efficient Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1127-1139, September.
    14. Atchison, Michael D & Butler, Kirt C & Simonds, Richard R, 1987. " Nonsynchronous Security Trading and Market Index Autocorrelation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 42(1), pages 111-118, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2977. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.