Fama-French Factors and Business Cycles
19 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2017
Date Written: December 4, 2017
We examine the behavior of Fama-French factors across business cycles measured in various ways. We first split up the business cycles into four stages and examine the cumulative returns of factors in each of those stages. We then look at the behavior of the factors after a yield curve inversion starts and ends, as the relationship between yield curve inversions and recessions has been well-explored. We finally run a logistic regression to test the predictive power of the term spread on the NBER recession indicator. Our results show that there is an effect on the factors of each of our four stages, and there is limited predictive power from the recession probabilities. We believe this is of practical importance to portfolio managers who are factor-oriented in their approach.
Keywords: factor investing, yield curve, term spread, business cycles, recessions
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