We study whether commonly analyzed equity return predictors also predict corporate bond returns. Bond markets do price risk, but also are susceptible to delayed information transmission relative to equities. Specifically, equity market capitalization and firm profitability negatively predict bond returns, while bonds of firms with high idiosyncratic volatility earn higher average returns. Equity returns positively predict bond returns with a one-month lag. Consistent with a relatively sophisticated institutional clientele, bonds are efficiently priced in that our return predictors do not provide profitable trading strategies after accounting for transactions costs.
This article explores cross-market liquidity dynamics by estimating a vector autoregressive model for liquidity (bid-ask spread and depth, returns, volatility, and order flow in the stock and Treasury bond markets). Innovations to stock and bond market liquidity and volatility are significantly correlated, implying that common factors drive liquidity and volatility in these markets. Volatility shocks are informative in predicting shifts in liquidity. During crisis periods, monetary expansions are associated with increased liquidity. Moreover, money flows to government bond funds forecast bond market liquidity. The results establish a link between “macro” liquidity, or money flows, and “micro” or transactions liquidity.
After serving as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, Dr. Gray earned an MBA and a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago where he studied under Nobel Prize Winner Eugene Fama. Next, Wes took an academic job in his wife’s hometown of Philadelphia and worked as a finance professor at Drexel University. Dr. Gray’s interest in bridging the research gap between academia and industry led him to found Alpha Architect, an asset management firm dedicated to an impact mission of empowering investors through education. He is a contributor to multiple industry publications and regularly speaks to professional investor groups across the country. Wes has published multiple academic papers and four books, including Embedded (Naval Institute Press, 2009), Quantitative Value (Wiley, 2012), DIY Financial Advisor (Wiley, 2015), and Quantitative Momentum (Wiley, 2016).
Dr. Gray currently resides in Palmas Del Mar Puerto Rico with his wife and three children. He recently finished the Leadville 100 ultramarathon race and promises to make better life decisions in the future.
Performance figures contained herein are hypothetical, unaudited and prepared by Alpha Architect, LLC; hypothetical results are intended for illustrative purposes only. Past performance is not indicative of future results, which may vary. There is a risk of substantial loss associated with trading stocks, commodities, futures, options and other financial instruments. Full disclosures here.