Hunt for Yield

26.April 2021

Thanks to quantitative easing, we see record-low interest rates. While yields for short to intermediate maturities in the US are lower than the inflation but still positive, other developed markets such as Japan or European countries even have bond yields negative. Still, it does not implicate that investors have withdrawn from the fixed income markets. Both individual and institutional investors still participate in bond trading. However, the critical question is how these conditions influence the investors. Does their behavior change? Do they reach for yield and prefer riskier bonds in the search for (positive) real yields? In this blog post, we present three novel research papers that offer insights into this topic.

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Market Sentiment and an Overnight Anomaly

19.April 2021

Various research papers show that market sentiment, also called investor sentiment, plays a role in market returns. Market sentiment refers to the general mood on the financial markets and investors’ overall tendency to trade. The mood on the market is divided into two main types, bullish and bearish. Naturally, rising prices indicate bullish sentiment. On the other hand, falling prices indicate bearish sentiment. This paper shows various ways to measure market sentiment and its influence on returns.

Additionally, we take a look at an overnight anomaly in combination with three market sentiment indicators. We analyse the Brain Market sentiment indicator in addition to VIX and the short-term trend in SPY ETF. Our aim is not to build a trading system. Instead, it is to analyze financial markets behaviour. Overall the transaction costs of this kind of strategy would be high. However, more appropriate than using this system on its own would be to use it as an overlay when deciding when to make trades.

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Crowding in Commodity Factor Strategies

13.April 2021

Nowadays, factor strategies are widely spread and used by practitioners, but this factor boom has given rise to some concerns. A key question is whether these strategies stay profitable once published and if they are not arbitraged away. Some strand of the literature suggests that there is a performance decay. A different view on performance decay is presented in the novel research of Kang et al. (2021), which indicates that the performance might be time-varying. Using the commodity market and premier anomalies such as momentum, basis, and value, the authors suggest a crowding in the factor strategies that predicts future performance. Crowded factors tend to underperform in future, and there is a significantly negative impact on the expected return. Moreover, the most substantial returns are connected with the least crowding activity. Therefore, the results are especially important for active factor traders.

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An Analysis of Volatility Clustering of Equity Factor Strategies

8.April 2021

Volatility clustering is a well-known effect in equity markets. In simple meaning, volatility clustering refers to a tendency of large changes in asset prices to follow large changes and small changes in asset prices to follow small changes. This interesting effect can be sometimes uncovered as one of the reasons for the functionality of some selected trading strategies. For example, low-volatility months in stock indexes (like the S&P 500 Index) are usually also months with higher performance. As volatility tends to cluster, a low volatility month in the present can signal a low volatility month with a better performance also in the future.

Based on this, we will be testing two hypotheses: (1) firstly, if there is a volatility clustering anomaly present in equity factor strategies; (2) secondly, if there is any performance pattern related to volatility.

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Quantpedia in March 2021

4.April 2021

The spring is in the air (at least in the northern hemisphere), and we were not sitting idle in the last month. The most interesting development is two new reports for Quantpedia Pro (the Factor Cycle and Inter-Market Correlation reports) that I will describe soon.

But first, let’s recapitulate Quantpedia Premium development. Nine new Quantpedia Premium strategies have been added to our database, and fifteen new related research papers have been included in existing Premium strategies during the last month. Additionally, we have produced 12 new backtests written in QuantConnect code. Our database currently contains over 420 strategies with out-of-sample backtests/codes.

Additionally, four new blog posts that you may find interesting have been published on our Quantpedia blog in the previous month …

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An Investigation of R&D Risk Premium Strategies

19.March 2021

The R&D investments represent a company’s unique expenditure, which is responsible for creating an information asymmetry about the firm’s growth potential and future prospects. In a case when market value reflects only the firm’s financial statements without taking the long-term benefits of R&D investments into consideration, the company’s stocks may be underpriced. On the other hand, the firm’s stock prices may also face overpricing. This might happen in a case when the investors judge the possible future outcomes of current R&D investment based on the past firm’s R&D success, which is not a guarantee by any means.

So, is there a premium among firms with intensive expenditures on R&D or not? If so, does R&D expenditures represent a robust risk factor, or are there any other hidden economic forces that could explain the R&D premium? This article has tried to answer these questions by revisiting and expanding the three previously conducted research papers on R&D premium.

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