Glued to the TV: Distracted Noise Traders and Stock Market Liquidity
117 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2016 Last revised: 16 Aug 2019
Date Written: August 10, 2019
We study the impact of noise traders’ limited attention on financial markets. We exploit episodes of sensational news (exogenous to the market) that distract noise traders. On “distraction days”, trading activity, liquidity, and volatility decrease, and prices reverse less among stocks owned predominantly by noise traders. These outcomes contrast sharply with those that result from the inattention of informed speculators and market makers, and are consistent with noise traders mitigating adverse selection risk. We discuss the evolution of these outcomes over time and the influence of technological changes.
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