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Federal Funds Target Rate Surprise and Equity Duration

Description: In this paper I use an equity duration framework to develop and empirically test the hypothesis that returns on growth stock portfolios react more strongly to Federal Funds target rate change announcements, as compared to value stock portfolios. When I decompose the Federal Funds rate change, I find that portfolio returns are only sensitive to rate shocks, as opposed to the predictable component of rate change. Since growth stocks are expected to have higher duration than value stocks, I further explore the well documented polarity between value and growth stocks, by examining the interest rate sensitivities of portfolios that diverge along four fundamental-to-prices ratios: dividend yield, book-to-market value, earnings-to-price and cashflows-to-price. In each case, I find that price reactions are more pronounced for portfolios with high growth characteristics. I also document that portfolio returns react asymmetrically to positive and negative target rate surprises, and that this reaction is conditional on the state of business cycles - periods of economic expansions and recessions. To improve the robustness of my results, several statistical applications have been applied. First, I include Newey-west estimators to examine significant levels of regression estimates. Second, I check if there is any contemporaneous correlation across target rate shocks by applying ARIMA tests, and to overcome the problem resulted from serial correlation of target rate shocks, I substitute white noise residuals from the regressions on the rate shocks for target rate shocks to be new exogenous variables.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Tee, Kienpin
Partner: UNT Libraries