Momentum Trading by Institutions

37 Pages Posted: 27 May 1998

See all articles by S.G. Badrinath

S.G. Badrinath

San Diego State University; IIM-Bangalore

Sunil Wahal

Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1998


This paper examines the quarterly holdings of all 13(f) institutions between the third quarter of 1987 and the third quarter of 1995 in approximately 3,800 firms. We analyze the trading patterns of institutions from two perspectives. First, we explore trading at the institution-level to detect portfolio shifts in response to current and past quarter returns. Second, we examine trading at the firm-level by aggregating the portfolio holdings of all reporting institutions in a given firm. We find weak evidence that institutions add to (reduce) their positions in a security after positive (negative) returns. We find stronger evidence that entry (exit) of new institutions into (out of) firms takes place after positive (negative) returns. This evidence of momentum trading at the institution-level, does not, however, translate into momentum trading at the firm-level; indeed, it appears that momentum trading by some institutions "cancels out" contrarian trading by other institutions.

JEL Classification: G10, G11, G20

Suggested Citation

Badrinath, Swaminathan G. and Wahal, Sunil, Momentum Trading by Institutions (April 1998). Available at SSRN: or

Swaminathan G. Badrinath

San Diego State University ( email )

5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-8236
United States
18583543100 (Phone)

IIM-Bangalore ( email )

Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore, Karnataka 560076
+918026993361 (Phone)

Sunil Wahal (Contact Author)

Arizona State University (ASU) - Finance Department ( email )

W. P. Carey School of Business
PO Box 873906
Tempe, AZ 85287-3906
United States

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