Strategic Trading in the Wrong Direction By a Large Institutional Insider
60 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2006 Last revised: 1 Sep 2009
Date Written: July 10, 2009
Many theoretical papers suggest that large informed traders should make misleading or random trades to disguise their trading. Alternatively, informed traders may trade purely on their estimate of stock value. This paper examines the trading behavior of a large institutional insider that periodically trades in the wrong direction, i.e., makes occasional sell (buy) trades within packages of buy (sell) trades. Using a hand-collected data set, we find that three quarters of the trade packages include wrong-direction trades. Wrong trades appear to be used mostly to disguise right-direction trades. We find that the wrong-trade stocks are larger and have less noisy returns, hence, they lack natural disguise. Wrong trades are relatively small, used to accentuate return volatility, distributed evenly during a package of trades, and are not consistently profitable.
Keywords: Strategic Trading, Manipulation, Institutional Investor, Insider
JEL Classification: G23, G14, D82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation