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Title: Investor sentiment and the cross-section of stock returns
Authors: Baker, Malcolm
Wurgler, Jeffrey
Issue Date: 2-Nov-2003
Series/Report no.: FIN-03-030
Abstract: We examine how investor sentiment affects the cross-section of stock returns. Theory predicts that a broad wave of sentiment will disproportionately affect stocks whose valuations are highly subjective and are difficult to arbitrage. We test this prediction by studying how the cross-section of subsequent stock returns varies with proxies for beginning-of-period investor sentiment. When sentiment is low, subsequent returns are relatively high on smaller stocks, high volatility stocks, unprofitable stocks, non-dividend-paying stocks, extreme-growth stocks, and distressed stocks, consistent with an initial underpricing of these stocks. When sentiment is high, on the other hand, these patterns attenuate or fully reverse. The results are consistent with theoretical predictions and are unlikely to reflect an alternative explanation based on compensation for systematic risks.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2451/27258
Appears in Collections:Finance Working Papers

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