Earnings News, Expected Earnings, and Aggregate Stock Returns

Earnings News, Expected Earnings, and Aggregate Stock Returns

By
Jung Ho Choi, Alon Kalay, Gil Sadka
Journal of Financial Markets. June
2016, Vol. 29, Pages 110-143

In contrast to firm-level relations, researchers have found that aggregate earnings changes and aggregate stock returns are negatively related. In this paper, we construct new measures of aggregate earnings news based on revisions in analyst forecasts. The findings suggest aggregate earnings news is positively related to contemporaneous stock returns. The results also show that aggregate stock returns are positively related to unexpected aggregate forecast errors, and negatively associated with expected aggregate earnings growth. Taken together, these findings suggest the negative relation between aggregate earnings changes and aggregate contemporaneous stock returns results from the expected component of aggregate earnings, rather than aggregate earnings surprises.