Equity Styles and the Spanish Flu
5 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 3, 2020
We study the performance of equity styles during the period around the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918-1919 and other deep historical market corrections to gain a deeper understanding on the performance of different groups of stocks during crises. We extend the widely used CRSP database with hand-collected data on U.S stocks and examine the major pre-1926 market corrections. We find that low-volatility and momentum tend to reduce losses during sharp market selloffs. By contrast, smaller stocks with high yields (value) offer less protection, but perform well during the recovery phase. Over major market selloffs and subsequent recoveries combined equity styles added value.
Keywords: equity styles, equity factors, low volatility, value, size, momentum, crises, pandemics
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