Earnings Extrapolation and Predictable Stock Market Returns (Job Market Paper)  R&R Review of Financial Studies. Online Appendix

Presented at: Acadian, CICF, CUHK, HKU, HKUST, Maryland Smith, MFA, MIT Sloan, MFS Workshop (PhD session), NFA, Northwestern Kellogg, Toronto Rotman, UBC Sauder, UW Foster, Wharton, WUSTL Olin, and Yale Behavioral Reading Group

Abstract: The U.S. stock market’s return during the first month of a quarter correlates strongly with returns in future months, but the correlation is negative if the future month is the first month of a quarter, and positive if it is not. These correlations offset on average, consistent with the well-known nearly zero unconditional autocorrelation, yet they are pervasive, present across industries and international markets. The pattern accords with a model in which investors extrapolate announced earnings to predict future earnings, not recognizing that earnings in the first month of a quarter are inherently less predictable. Survey data support the model.

Feedback and Contagion through Distressed Competition, joint with Hui Chen, Winston Dou, and Yan Ji. Forthcoming, Journal of Finance

Presented at: AFA, CFRC, Conference on Systemic Risk and Financial Stability, CUHK-Shenzhen, CUNY, EFA, FMCG, FOM Research Group Conference, HKUST-Jinan Macro Workshop, HKUST, MFS Workshop, McGill-HEC Winter Conference, MFA, NBER SI (CM), NFA, NYU Five Star Conference, PKU, PHBS Workshop on Macroeconomics and Finance, Richmond Fed, SFS Cavalcade, Stanford SITE, SIF conference, SFI/EPFL, Tsinghua SEM alumni conference, UConn, UMich, UT Dallas, Toronto, Utah Winter Finance Conference, Wharton

Abstract: Firms tend to compete more aggressively in financial distress; the intensified competition in turn reduces profit margins for everyone, pushing some further into distress. To study such feedback and contagion effects, we incorporate dynamic strategic competition into an industry equilibrium with long-term defaultable debt, which generates various peer interactions: predation, self-defense, and collaboration. Such interactions make cash flows, stock returns, and credit spreads interdependent across firms. Moreover, industries with higher idiosyncratic-jump risks are more distressed, yet also endogenously less exposed to aggregate shocks. Finally, we exploit exogenous variations in market structure -- large tariff cuts -- to test the core competition mechanism.

Identifying Preference for Early Resolution from Asset Prices, joint with Hengjie Ai, Ravi Bansal, and Amir Yaron. R&R American Economic Review

Presented at: Duke, FIRS, Macro-finance conference at Bank of England, MFA, Norwegian School of Economics, PHBS Workshop in Macroeconomics and Finance, SFS Cavalcade, SAIF, TAU Finance Conference, WUSTL, Wharton, University of Chicago, University of Iowa

Abstract: This paper develops an asset market based test for preference for the timing of resolution of uncertainty. Our main theorem provides a characterization of preference for early resolution of uncertainty in terms of the risk premium of assets realized during the period when the informativeness of macroeconomic announcements is resolved. Empirically, we find support for preference for early resolution of uncertainty based on evidence on the dynamics of the implied volatility of S&P 500 index options before FOMC announcements.

“Superstitious” Investors, joint with Jessica Wachter. R&R Review of Asset Pricing Studies

Presented at: AFA, Boston University, Duke, EPFL/University of Lausanne, LBS, MIT Sloan, SFS Cavalcade, Wharton

Abstract: We reconsider the Shiller (1981) volatility puzzle through the lens of a model in which agents believe they can predict dividend growth when in fact they cannot.  Besides excess volatility in the time series, the model explains the  value premium, and the explanatory power of the value factor. In support of the model, we show that analysts' earnings forecasts align with market valuation and that analysts are far more optimistic about growth stocks than value stocks. Using both survey and price data, we show that the same mechanism can explain the excess returns earned by investing in high-interest rate currencies.

Macroeconomic Announcement Premium, joint with Hengjie Ai and Ravi Bansal, Forthcoming, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Economics and Finance

The Common Component of Contemporaneous Earnings Announcement Excess Returns, joint with Jessica Wachter. Work in progress