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News Co-Occurrence, Attention Spillover and Return Predictability

Li Guo, Lin Peng, Yubo Tao () and Jun Tu

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Abstract: We examine the effect of investor attention spillover on stock return predictability. Using a novel measure, the News Network Triggered Attention index (NNTA), we find that NNTA negatively predicts market returns with a monthly in(out)-of-sample R-square of 5.97% (5.80%). In the cross-section, a long-short portfolio based on news co-occurrence generates a significant monthly alpha of 68 basis points. The results are robust to the inclusion of alternative attention proxies, sentiment measures, other news- and information-based predictors, across recession and expansion periods. We further validate the attention spillover effect by showing that news co-mentioning leads to greater increases in Google and Bloomberg search volumes than unconditional news coverage. Our findings suggest that attention spillover in a news-based network can lead to significant stock market overvaluations, and especially when arbitrage is limited.

Date: 2017-03, Revised 2018-12
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