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Re-Examining the Profitability of Technical Analysis with White’s Reality Check

In this paper, we re-examine the profitability of technical analysis using the Reality Check of White (2000, Econometrica) that corrects the data snooping bias. Comparing to previous studies, we study a more complete “universe” of trading techniques, including not only simple trading rules but also investor’s strategies, and we test the profitability of these rules and strategies with four main indices from both relatively mature and young markets. It is found that profitable simple rules and investor’s strategies do exist with statistical significance for NASDAQ Composite and Russell 2000 but not for DJIA and S&P 500. Moreover, the best rules for NASDAQ Composite and Russell 2000 outperform the buy-and-hold strategy in most in- and out-of-sample periods, even when transaction costs are taken into account. We also find that investor’s strategies are able to improve on the profits of simple rules and may even generate significant profits from unprofitable simple rules.

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File URL: http://www.econ.sinica.edu.tw/upload/file/04-a003.2008090210570460.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan in its series IEAS Working Paper : academic research with number 04-A003.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sin:wpaper:04-a003
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Web page: http://www.econ.sinica.edu.tw/index.php?foreLang=enEmail:


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  1. Knez, Peter J & Ready, Mark J, 1996. "Estimating the Profits from Trading Strategies," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(4), pages 1121-63.
  2. Ryan Sullivan & Allan Timmermann & Halbert White, 1999. "Data-Snooping, Technical Trading Rule Performance, and the Bootstrap," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(5), pages 1647-1691, October.
  3. Jensen, Michael C & Bennington, George A, 1970. "Random Walks and Technical Theories: Some Additional Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 25(2), pages 469-82, May.
  4. Stephen J. Brown & William N. Goetzmann & Alok Kumar, 1998. "The Dow Theory: William Peter Hamilton's Track Record Reconsidered," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1311-1333, 08.
  5. Neely, Christopher J. & Weller, Paul A., 1999. "Technical trading rules in the European Monetary System," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 429-458.
  6. Josef Lakonishok & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1993. "Contrarian Investment, Extrapolation, and Risk," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 84, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
  7. Chan, Louis K. C. & Karceski, Jason & Lakonishok, Josef, 1998. "The Risk and Return from Factors," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 33(02), pages 159-188, June.
  8. Gencay, Ramazan, 1998. "The predictability of security returns with simple technical trading rules," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 347-359, October.
  9. K. Geert Rouwenhorst, 1998. "International Momentum Strategies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(1), pages 267-284, 02.
  10. Mark J Ready, 2002. "Profits from Technical Trading Rules," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 31(3), Fall.
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