Informed Corporate Credit Market before Monetary Policy Surprises: Explaining Pre-FOMC Stock Market Movements
55 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2018 Last revised: 8 Feb 2019
Date Written: August 2018
We show that U.S. corporate bond market movements during the days preceding FOMC announcements can predict monetary policy surprises, as well as the pre-FOMC stock market movements. Starting several days before an expansionary (contractionary) surprise in FOMC decisions, corporate bond prices surge (decline) and yield spreads decline (surge). The pattern is statistically and economically significant. Moreover, corporate bond customers buy (sell) more often from dealers before expansionary (contractionary) surprises, suggesting that in aggregate they have more accurate information about the outcome of FOMC announcements. A portfolio that mimics customer trades is profitable with a Sharpe ratio of 0.64 and is profitable before both contractionary and expansionary surprises. Furthermore, consistent with the informativeness of corporate bond transactions, we show that lagged corporate bond customer-dealer trade imbalances can predict pre-FOMC stock market movements and explain pre-FOMC drift. Corporate bond yield changes “Granger-cause” stock pre-FOMC movements, and a 1% surge in the constructed TRACE bond yield during a 2 p.m.-to-2 p.m. period ending one day before an FOMC announcement, predicts a 5.8% decline in the S&P 500 index for the 2 p.m.-to-2 p.m. period ending on the FOMC meeting day. This bond-to-stock granger causality does not exist for non-pre-FOMC periods and is stronger for the companies with higher probability of default.
Keywords: Pre-FOMC Announcement Drift, Corporate Bond, Credit Risk, Enhanced TRACE, TAQ
JEL Classification: G10, G12, E44, E52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation