Earnings Extrapolation And Predictable Stock Market Returns
81 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2019 Last revised: 17 Feb 2023
Date Written: November 16, 2019
The U.S. stock market’s return during the first month of a quarter correlates strongly with returns in future months, but the correlation is negative if the future month is the first month of a quarter, and positive if it is not. These correlations offset on average, consistent with the well-known nearly zero unconditional autocorrelation, yet they are pervasive, present across industries and international markets. The pattern accords with a model in which investors extrapolate announced earnings to predict future earnings, not recognizing that earnings in the first month of a quarter are inherently less predictable. Survey data support the model.
Keywords: Behavioral Finance, Earnings Announcements, Efficient Market Hypothesis, Extrapolative Beliefs, Stock Returns Autocorrelation
JEL Classification: G12, G14, G40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation