Stock Return Autocorrelations and Expected Option Returns
51 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2019 Last revised: 16 Jul 2020
Date Written: March 31, 2019
We present a new finding that the return autocorrelation of underlying stock is an important determinant of expected equity option returns. Using an extended Black-Scholes model incorporating the presence of stock return autocorrelation, we show that expected returns of both call and put options are increasing in return autocorrelation coefficient of the underlying stock. Consistent with this insight, we find strong empirical support in the cross-section of average returns of equity options. Average returns of calls and puts as well as average returns of straddles all show monotonically increasing relationship with the degree of underlying stock's return autocorrelation coefficient. Additional equity option portfolio analysis shows that the information on stock return autocorrelation helps investors to significantly improve the out-of-sample performance of their portfolios.
Keywords: stock return autocorrelation, expected option returns, cross-section of option returns, option portfolios
JEL Classification: G11, G12, G13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation