DP14713 Stock Return Comovement when Investors are Distracted: More, and More Homogeneous

Author(s): Michael Ehrmann, David-Jan Jansen
Publication Date: May 2020
Keyword(s): comovement, investor attention, Stock returns
JEL(s): G12, G15, G41
Programme Areas: Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=14713

This paper tests whether fluctuations in investors' attention affect stock return comovement with national and global markets, and which stocks are most affected. We measure fluctuations in investor attention using 59 high-profile soccer matches played during stock market trading hours at the three editions of the FIFA World Cup between 2010 and 2018. Using intraday data for more than 750 firms in 19 countries, we find that distracted investors shift attention away from firm-specific and from global news. When movements in global stock markets are large, the pricing of global news reverts back to normal, but firm-specific news keep being priced less, leading to increased comovement of stock returns with the national stock market. This increase is economically large, and particularly strong for those stocks that typically comove little with the national market, thereby leading to a convergence in betas across stocks.