Momentum And Reversal

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Two of the most prominent financial-market anomalies are momentum and reversal. Momentum is the tendency of assets with good (bad) recent performance to continue over performing (underperforming) in the near future. Reversal concerns predictability based on a longer performance history: assets that performed well (poorly) over a long period tend to subsequently underperform (over perform). Closely related to reversal is the value effect, whereby the ratio of an asset’s price relative to book value is negatively related to subsequent performance.
Momentum and reversal are viewed as anomalies because they are hard to explain within the standard asset-pricing paradigm with rational agents and frictionless markets. The prevalent explanations of
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Investment funds holding these assets realize low returns, triggering outflows by investors who update negatively about the efficiency of the managers running these funds. As a consequence of the outflows, funds sell assets they own, and this depresses further the prices of the assets hit by the original shock. Momentum arises if the outflows are gradual, and if they trigger a gradual price decline and a drop in expected returns. Reversal arises because outflows push prices below fundamental values, and so expected returns eventually rise. Gradual outflows can be the consequence of investor inertia or institutional constraints.

What is a 'Reversal'

A change in the direction of a price trend. On a price chart, reversals undergo a recognizable change in the price structure. An uptrend, which is a series of higher highs and higher lows, reverses into a downtrend by changing to a series of lower highs and lower lows. A downtrend, which is a series of lower highs and lower lows, reverses into an uptrend by changing to a series of higher highs and higher lows.

Also referred to as a "trend reversal", "rally" or "correction". Price Momentum
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Herd behavior is the tendency for individuals to mimic the actions (rational or irrational) of a larger group.

One consequence of having emotion in the stock market is the overreaction toward new information. According to market efficiency, new information should more or less be reflected instantly in a security's price. For example, good news should raise a business' share price accordingly, and that gain in share price should not decline if no new information has been released since.

Reality, however, tends to contradict this theory. Oftentimes, participants in the stock market predictably overreact to new information, creating a larger-than-appropriate effect on a security's price. Furthermore, it also appears that this price surge is not a permanent trend - although the price change is usually sudden and sizable, the surge erodes over time.

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