Time-Series and Cross-Sectional Stock Return Forecasting: New Machine Learning Methods
37 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2019
Date Written: July 27, 2019
This paper extends the machine learning methods developed in Han et al. (2019) for forecasting cross-sectional stock returns to a time-series context. The methods use the elastic net to refine the simple combination return forecast from Rapach et al. (2010). In a time-series application focused on forecasting the US market excess return using a large number of potential predictors, we find that the elastic net refinement substantively improves the simple combination forecast, thereby providing one of the best market excess return forecasts to date. We also discuss the cross-sectional return forecasts developed in Han et al. (2019), highlighting how machine learning methods can be used to improve combination forecasts in both the time-series and cross-sectional dimensions. Overall, because many important questions in finance are related to time-series or cross-sectional return forecasts, the machine learning methods discussed in this paper should provide valuable tools to researchers and practitioners alike.
Keywords: Expected stock returns, Time series, Cross section, Forecast combination, Shrinkage, Elastic net
JEL Classification: C53, G11, G12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation