Market Cycles and the Performance of Relative-Strength Strategies

Financial Management 2013, V42, Pages 263-290

Posted: 8 Oct 2011 Last revised: 2 Jul 2013

Chris T. Stivers

University of Louisville

Licheng Sun

Old Dominion University

Date Written: June 28, 2013

Abstract

We study the effect of market cycles on both medium-run and long-run relative strength trading strategies. We find that the payoffs over both horizons tend to be relatively higher within a market state (rising or falling markets) but substantially lower when including transitions between states. Since shorter duration strategies are relatively less likely to include market transitions, our results help reconcile the puzzling fact that relative strength strategies are profitable over the medium-run but not profitable over the long-run. Our finding include that the market's cross-sectional return dispersion both: (1) tends to be higher around market-state transitions, and (2) is negatively related to the subsequent relative-strength payoffs for both horizons.

Keywords: Medium-Run Momentum, Long-Run Reversals, Mean Stock Returns

JEL Classification: G12, G13, G14

Suggested Citation

Stivers, Chris T. and Sun, Licheng, Market Cycles and the Performance of Relative-Strength Strategies (June 28, 2013). Financial Management 2013, V42, Pages 263-290. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1940148 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1940148

Chris T. Stivers (Contact Author)

University of Louisville ( email )

Finance Dept., College of Business
University of Louisville
Louisville, KY 40292
United States
502-852-4829 (Phone)

Licheng Sun

Old Dominion University ( email )

Strome College of Business
Department of Finance
Norfolk, VA 23529-0222
United States

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