Changes in Trading Volume and Return Volatility Associated with S&P 500 Index Additions and Deletions

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When a stock is added into the S&P 500 Index, it is automatically "cross-listed" in the index derivative markets (i.e., S&P 500 Index futures and Index options). I examined the effects of such cross-listing on the trading volume and return volatility of the underlying component stocks. Traditional finance theory asserts that futures and "cash" markets are connected by arbitrage mechanism that brings both markets to equilibrium. When arbitrage opportunities arise, arbitrageurs buy (sell) the index portfolio and take short (long) positions in the corresponding index derivative contracts until prices return to theoretical levels. Such mechanical arbitrage trading tends to create ... continued below

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Lin, Cheng-I Eric December 2007.

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  • Lin, Cheng-I Eric

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When a stock is added into the S&P 500 Index, it is automatically "cross-listed" in the index derivative markets (i.e., S&P 500 Index futures and Index options). I examined the effects of such cross-listing on the trading volume and return volatility of the underlying component stocks. Traditional finance theory asserts that futures and "cash" markets are connected by arbitrage mechanism that brings both markets to equilibrium. When arbitrage opportunities arise, arbitrageurs buy (sell) the index portfolio and take short (long) positions in the corresponding index derivative contracts until prices return to theoretical levels. Such mechanical arbitrage trading tends to create large order flows that could be difficult for the market to absorb, resulting in price changes. Utilizing a list of S&P 500 index composition changes occurring over the period September 1976 to December 2005, I investigated the market-adjusted volume turnover ratios and return variances of the stocks being added to and deleted from the S&P 500, surrounding the effective day of index membership changes. My primary finding is that, after the introduction of the S&P 500 index futures and options contracts, stocks added to the S&P 500 experience significant increase in both trading volume and return volatility. However, deleted stocks experience no significant change in either trading volume or return volatility. Both daily and monthly return variances increase following index inclusion, consistent with the hypothesis that derivative transactions "fundamentally" destabilize the underlying securities. I argue that the increase in trading volume and return volatility may be attributed to index arbitrage transactions as derivative markets provide more routes for index arbitrageurs to trade. Other index trading strategies such as portfolio insurance and program trading may also contribute to the results. On the other hand, a deleted stock is not associated with changes in trading volume and volatility since it represents an extremely small fraction of the market value-weighted index portfolio, and the influence of index trading strategies becomes slight for these shares. Furthermore, evidence is provided that trading volume and return volatility are positively related.

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  • December 2007

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  • May 2, 2008, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Jan. 14, 2014, 2:59 p.m.

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Lin, Cheng-I Eric. Changes in Trading Volume and Return Volatility Associated with S&P 500 Index Additions and Deletions, dissertation, December 2007; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5149/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .