Risk-neutral Skewness, Informed Trading, and the Cross-section of Stock Returns
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, forthcoming
87 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2018 Last revised: 30 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 28, 2020
This paper uses the volatility surface data from options contracts to document a strong, robust, and positive cross-sectional relation between risk-neutral skewness (RNS) and subsequent stock returns. The differential return between high and low RNS stocks amounts to 0.17% per week. Pre-announcement RNS is positively related to earnings announcement returns, and the positive RNS-return relation is more pronounced for other non-scheduled news releases, suggesting that it is informed trading that drives the positive relation between RNS and returns. We also find that RNS contains incremental information beyond trading signals captured by option implied volatility and volume.
Keywords: Risk-Neutral Skewness, Options Markets, Informed Trading, Earnings Announcements, Non-scheduled News Release
JEL Classification: G12, G14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation