Investor Sentiment and the Eurovision Song Contest

24.June 2022

The summer is slowly approaching; therefore, our new article will be on a little lighter tone. We will examine a research paper on a periodic event with sentiment implications. The authors (Abudy, Mugerman, Shust) focused on a specific song competition – the Eurovision Song Contest, an international song competition organized annually. They examined a positive swing in investor mood in the winning country the day after the Eurovision Song Contest and documented an average abnormal return of 0.381%. On the contrary, they did not find any negative sentiment in other participating countries.

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VIX-Yield Curve Cycles May Predict Recessions

21.January 2022

Since recessions and bear markets come hand in hand for several asset classes, recession predictions have always been the foremost concern. The yield curve slope, defined as the difference between long and short-term rates, is the leading indicator backed by numerous research papers. Hansen (2021) builds on this theorem, but the author improves the recession prediction by his empirical observation that the VIX index (index of implied equity volatility or fear index) and the slope co-move in counterclockwise cycles, which align with business cycles.

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How News Move Markets?

12.November 2021

Nobody would argue that nowadays, we live in an information-rich society – the amount of available information (data) is constantly rising, and news is becoming more accessible and frequent. It is indisputable that this evolvement has also affected financial markets. Machine learning algorithms can chew up big chunks of data. We can analyze the sentiment (which is frequently related to the news). Big data does not seem to be a problem anymore, and high-frequent trading algorithms can react almost instantly. But how important is the news? Kerssenfischer and Schmeling (2021) provide several answers by studying the impact of scheduled and unscheduled news (frequently omitted in other news-related studies) in connection with high-frequency changes in bond yields and stock prices in the EU and US as well. The research points out that the effect is tremendous and significant.

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Does Gambling Influence Stock Markets Around the World?

13.September 2021

Is there any association between the country’s stock market and its gambling policy? Surprisingly, yes, and there’s more to it than one would think. In a new research paper, Kumar, Nguyen and Putnins offer a complex study of gambling activities in 38 countries worldwide to estimate the impact on their financial markets.

The research’s dataset follows that around 86% of the estimated total global gaming revenue comprises traditional gambling forms – casinos, lotteries, sports betting, and many others. Moving to the financial markets, the authors introduce a split of stocks into lottery-like and non-lottery stocks to estimate the amount of gambling in stock markets. Lottery-like stocks are expected to be traded much more often than other stocks. It turns out that 14% of developed markets, 18% of emerging ones and 33% of retail-dominated Asian markets (China, Thailand) is being gambled. Generally, there is 3.5 times more capital gambled in the stock market around the world compared to the traditional ways combined together.

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ESG Incidents and Shareholder Value

14.May 2021

ESG scores are the modern trend in the financial markets, and while this sustainable investing has its critics, it seems to become a regular part of the markets. Frequently, and probably rightfully, ESG is criticized for the lack of commonality across various “scorers”, and as a result, there might be a large dispersion among the score of one firm. The reason is that the score usually consists of different metrics and aggregation methodology. Apart from this “long-term” score, investors can easily recognize the “short-term” score, which can be proxied by negative incidents such as pollution, poor social aspects, social or governance scandals and so on. Moreover, these incidents could be more informative about (un)sustainable practice compared to ESG scores. These ESG incidents are studied by the novel research of Simon Glossner (2021). Using incidents news, the author provides interesting results that mainly support proponents of sustainable investing. Poor ESG performance proxied by incidents predicts more incidents in the future, lower profitability which should subsequently spill to negative performance in future. For example, portfolios consisting of negative incidents stocks significantly underperform the market for both US and European stocks. Therefore, this research paper is a compelling addition to the literature that, apart from social aspects, connects ESG also with performance.

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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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