Do Retail Trades Move Markets?
Posted: 3 Jan 2009
Date Written: January 2009
We study the trading of individual investors using transaction data and identifying buyer- or seller-initiated trades. We document four results: (1) Small trade order imbalance correlates well with order imbalance based on trades from retail brokers. (2) Individual investors herd. (3) When measured annually, small trade order imbalance forecasts future returns; stocks heavily bought underperform stocks heavily sold by 4.4 percentage points the following year. (4) Over a weekly horizon, small trade order imbalance reliably predicts returns, but in the opposite direction; stocks heavily bought one week earn strong returns the subsequent week, while stocks heavily sold earn poor returns.
Keywords: G11, G12, G14
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