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Momentum Investing

Do financial market prices reliably exhibit momentum? If so, why, and how can traders best exploit it? These blog entries relate to momentum investing/trading.

Extending Value and Momentum to Frontier Market Stocks

Do value and momentum strategies work in the least mature equity markets? In the September 2010 update of their paper entitled “Value and Momentum in Frontier Emerging Markets”, Wilma de Groot, Juan Pang and Laurens Swinkels examine whether the value premium based on book-to-market ratio (B/M), earnings-to-price ratio (E/P) or dividend-to-price ratio (D/P) and the momentum effect exist in frontier equity markets. Their basic methodology is to form long-short portfolios of equally weighted extreme (most and least attractive) quintiles monthly and to hold each portfolio for six months, with monthly outcomes calculated as averages for the six active portfolios (in excess of U.S. Treasury bills). Using return and accounting data for over 1,400 S&P Frontier Broad Market Index stocks  from 24 of the most liquid frontier markets over the period January 1997 through November 2008, they find that: Keep Reading

Parsing Reversal and Momentum Effects

Generalizations from the body of equity price trend research are: (1) stocks tend to exhibit short-term reversal, intermediate-term momentum and long-term reversion; and, (2) small capitalization and high-volatility stocks tend to exhibit the strongest momentum. What about the combination of size and volatility? In the September 2010 version of his paper entitled “Do Momentum and Reversals Coexist?”, Jason Wei investigates how momentum and reversal effects for individual stocks vary jointly with market capitalization and volatility. He forms portfolios monthly based on sequential size, realized volatility and past return sorts. He considers quintile ranking and holding periods of one, two, three, six and 12 months, with an intervening skip-week. Using daily price data for a broad sample of NYSE/AMEX/NASDAQ stocks spanning 1964-2009, he finds that: Keep Reading

Momentum and Moving Averages for Currencies

A reader asked: “Does a combination of rotation by relative strength (momentum) and moving averages, similar to that described in Mebane Faber’s Ivy Portfolio, work for the main currencies?” Keep Reading

Momentum Timing of Junk Bond Fund?

A reader commented and suggested: “Because bond trading costs would probably dwarf the excess profits described in ‘Momentum in U.S. Corporate Bond Returns’ for individual investors, perhaps the relevant question is whether switching from one junk bond fund to another based on 6-month momentum (with one skip-month) is effective.” Since the momentum in this case belongs to an asset class (junk bonds) rather than to specific bonds within it, a more useful investigation might be whether one should get in and out of junk bond funds based on momentum. Using monthly dividend-adjusted closes for the T. Rowe Price High-Yield mutual fund (PRHYX) and the 13-week Treasury bill (T-bill) yield (a proxy for return on cash) during September 1990 through July 2010 (239 months), we find that: Keep Reading

Factor Universality?

Studies of the U.S. stock market indicate that some factors and indicators may have predictive power for future returns. Do these findings consistently translate to other large equity markets? In the July 2010 version of their paper entitled “The Cross-Section of German Stock Returns: New Data and New Evidence”, Sabine Artmann, Philipp Finter, Alexander Kempf, Stefan Koch and Erik Theissen apply a new set of single-sorted and double-sorted factor portfolios based on market beta, size, book-to-market ratio and momentum to test for beta effect, size effect, value premium and momentum in the German equity market. In the July 2010 version of their paper entitled “The Impact of Investor Sentiment on the German Stock Market”, Philipp Finter, Alexandra Niessen-Ruenzi and Stefan Ruenzi test the predictive power of a composite sentiment measure combining consumer confidence, net equity mutual funds flow, put-call ratio, aggregate trading volume, initial public offering (IPO) returns, number of IPOs and aggregate equity-to-debt ratio of new issues. Using data for 955 non-financial German firms for which sufficient data is available during the period 1960-2006 for the factor portfolios and 1993-2006 for the sentiment measure, these studies find that: Keep Reading

Momentum in U.S. Corporate Bond Returns

Do corporate bond returns, like stock returns, exhibit intermediate-term momentum? In their July 2010 paper entitled “Momentum in Corporate Bond Returns”, Gergana Jostova, Stanislava Nikolova, Alexander Philipov and Christof Stahel measure return momentum for U.S. corporate bonds. They form equally-weighted momentum portfolios monthly based on past six-month return, with a skip-month between ranking interval and portfolio formation to avoid short-term reversal, holding each portfolio for six months. Using total returns associated with 3.2 million quotes and transactions for 77,150 bonds over the period 1973-2008, they find that: Keep Reading

Sentiment from Google Insights and Return Continuation

Does investor interest in stocks as measured by Google Insights for Search predict which stocks will exhibit return continuation? In his June 2010 paper entitled “The Demand for Information”, Gordon Sims examines the effects of investor attention to stocks as defined by relative search frequency from Google Insights for Search (Stock Information Demand) to short-term stock momentum. The past return interval for momentum measurement is four weeks, augmented by a one-week delay in portfolio formation to avoid short-term reversal. Search term construction for Stock Information Demand focuses on intent to buy or sell a stock by appending “stock” or “quote” to a company’s name or ticker symbol. Using weekly returns for July 2003 through December 2009 for those S&P 500 stocks (as of July 31, 2003) with sufficient weekly Stock Information Demand data over the period 2004-2009 (214 stocks), he finds that: Keep Reading

Past Performance Consistency and Future Returns

What are the momentum and reversion patterns for stocks that have been consistent past winners or losers? In his June 2010 paper entitled “Does Bad Economic News Play a Greater Role in Shaping Investors’ Expectations than Good Economic News?”, Abdulaziz Alwathainani investigates the relationship between the consistency of past monthly stock performance and future returns. He defines consistent past winners (losers) as those ranking in the top (bottom) 30% of monthly returns for at least six of the last 12 months. He defines stocks ranking in the middle 40% for at least six of the last 12 months as a consistently moderate benchmark. Using monthly return and characteristics data for a broad sample of U.S. stocks spanning 1963-2007, he finds that: Keep Reading

How About Investors FastTrack?

A reader asked: “I found Investors FastTrack via a search last night. Do you know anything about them?” Keep Reading

Momentum and Portfolio Risk

Do measures of momentum portfolio risk affect returns and return components? In their April 2010 paper entitled “Asymmetric Momentum Effects Under Uncertainty”, David Kelsey, Roman Kozhan and Wei Pang investigate how the profitability of a momentum hedge strategy varies with portfolio firm-level risk. They use six measures of firm-level risk: (1) size (market capitalization); (2) age (since listing); (3) number of analysts following; (4) dispersion of analyst earnings forecasts; (5) realized volatility of weekly stock returns over the past year; and, (6) cash flow volatility. Using stock return, firm fundamentals and analyst earnings forecast data for a broad sample of U.S. stocks spanning 1983-2006, they conclude that: Keep Reading

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