Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Cheap Talk on the Web: The Determinants of Postings on Stock Message Boards

University of Michigan Business School Working Paper No. 98025

35 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 1999  

Peter D. Wysocki

Boston University Questrom School of Business

Date Written: November 1998

Abstract

This paper examines the cross-sectional and time-series determinants of message-posting volume on stock message boards on the Web. I test whether variation in message-posting volume is just noise or is related to underlying firm characteristics and stock market activity. Using a sample of over 3,000 stocks listed on Yahoo! message boards, I find that cumulative posting volume is, on average, highest for firms with extreme past returns and accounting performance, high market capitalization, high price-earnings and market-to-book ratios, high volatility and trading volume, high analyst following and low institutional holdings. Changes in daily posting volume are associated with earnings-announcement events and daily changes in stock trading volume and returns. Overnight message-posting volume is found to predict changes in next day stock trading volume and returns. Rational and behavioral explanations for the observed pattern in message-posting activity are discussed.

JEL Classification: G12, G14

Suggested Citation

Wysocki, Peter D., Cheap Talk on the Web: The Determinants of Postings on Stock Message Boards (November 1998). University of Michigan Business School Working Paper No. 98025. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=160170 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.160170

Peter D. Wysocki (Contact Author)

Boston University Questrom School of Business ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Paper statistics

Downloads
1,169
Rank
13,856
Abstract Views
6,429