The Journal of Finance

The Journal of Finance publishes leading research across all the major fields of finance. It is one of the most widely cited journals in academic finance, and in all of economics. Each of the six issues per year reaches over 8,000 academics, finance professionals, libraries, and government and financial institutions around the world. The journal is the official publication of The American Finance Association, the premier academic organization devoted to the study and promotion of knowledge about financial economics.

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Search results: 5.

Giving Content to Investor Sentiment: The Role of Media in the Stock Market

Published: 05/08/2007   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2007.01232.x


I quantitatively measure the interactions between the media and the stock market using daily content from a popular Wall Street Journal column. I find that high media pessimism predicts downward pressure on market prices followed by a reversion to fundamentals, and unusually high or low pessimism predicts high market trading volume. These and similar results are consistent with theoretical models of noise and liquidity traders, and are inconsistent with theories of media content as a proxy for new information about fundamental asset values, as a proxy for market volatility, or as a sideshow with no relationship to asset markets.

How Wise Are Crowds? Insights from Retail Orders and Stock Returns

Published: 02/07/2013   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12028


We analyze the role of retail investors in stock pricing using a database uniquely suited for this purpose. The data allow us to address selection bias concerns and to separately examine aggressive (market) and passive (limit) orders. Both aggressive and passive net buying positively predict firms’ monthly stock returns with no evidence of return reversal. Only aggressive orders correctly predict firm news, including earnings surprises, suggesting they convey novel cash flow information. Only passive net buying follows negative returns, consistent with traders providing liquidity and benefiting from the reversal of transitory price movements. These actions contribute to market efficiency.

Biased Beliefs, Asset Prices, and Investment: A Structural Approach

Published: 08/12/2013   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12089


We structurally estimate a model in which agents’ information processing biases can cause predictability in firms’ asset returns and investment inefficiencies. We generalize the neoclassical investment model by allowing for two biases—overconfidence and overextrapolation of trends—that distort agents’ expectations of firm productivity. Our model's predictions closely match empirical data on asset pricing and firm behavior. The estimated bias parameters are well identified and exhibit plausible magnitudes. Alternative models without either bias or with efficient investment fail to match observed return predictability and firm behavior. These results suggest that biases affect firm behavior, which in turn affects return anomalies.

More Than Words: Quantifying Language to Measure Firms' Fundamentals

Published: 05/09/2008   |   DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2008.01362.x


We examine whether a simple quantitative measure of language can be used to predict individual firms' accounting earnings and stock returns. Our three main findings are: (1) the fraction of negative words in firm‐specific news stories forecasts low firm earnings; (2) firms' stock prices briefly underreact to the information embedded in negative words; and (3) the earnings and return predictability from negative words is largest for the stories that focus on fundamentals. Together these findings suggest that linguistic media content captures otherwise hard‐to‐quantify aspects of firms' fundamentals, which investors quickly incorporate into stock prices.

What Drives Anomaly Returns?

Published: 01/17/2020   |   DOI: 10.1111/jofi.12876


We decompose the returns of five well‐known anomalies into cash flow and discount rate news. Common patterns emerge across the five factor portfolios and their mean‐variance efficient (MVE) combination. Whereas discount rate news predominates in market returns, systematic cash flow news drives the returns of anomaly portfolios and their MVE combination with the market portfolio. Anomaly cash flow and discount rate shocks are largely uncorrelated with market cash flow and discount rate shocks and with business cycle fluctuations. These rich empirical patterns restrict the joint dynamics of firm cash flows and the pricing kernel, thereby informing models of stocks' expected returns.