Investor Sentiment and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns

52 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2003 Last revised: 13 Jan 2009

Malcolm P. Baker

Harvard Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jeffrey Wurgler

NYU Stern School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 6 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2003

Abstract

We study how investor sentiment affects the cross-section of stock returns. We predict that a wave of investor sentiment has larger effects on securities whose valuations are highly subjective and difficult to arbitrage. Consistent with this prediction, we find that when beginning-of-period proxies for sentiment are low, subsequent returns are relatively high for small stocks, young stocks, high volatility stocks, unprofitable stocks, non-dividend-paying stocks, extreme growth stocks, and distressed stocks. When sentiment is high, on the other hand, these stocks tend to earn relatively low subsequent returns.

Keywords: sentiment, cross-section, arbitrage, asset pricing

JEL Classification: G12, G14

Suggested Citation

Baker, Malcolm P. and Wurgler, Jeffrey, Investor Sentiment and the Cross-Section of Stock Returns (November 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=464843 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.464843

Malcolm P. Baker (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6566 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/mbaker

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Jeffrey A. Wurgler

NYU Stern School of Business ( email )

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street, Suite 9-190
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States
212-998-0367 (Phone)
212-995-4233 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.stern.nyu.edu/~jwurgler/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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