Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The behaviour of U.S. stocks to financial and health risks

Salissu, Afees and Raheem, Ibrahim and Eigbiremolen, Godstime (2020): The behaviour of U.S. stocks to financial and health risks. Forthcoming in: International Journal of Finance and Economics

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This article examines the hedging effectiveness of U.S. stocks against uncertainties due to equity market (financial risk) and pandemics (health risk), including Covid-19 pandemic. Consequently, we consider two categories of U.S. stocks—defensive and non-defensive stocks drawn from 10 different sectors and distinctly analysed over two data samples—pre- and post-Covid periods. We construct a predictive panel data model that simultaneously accounts for both heterogeneity and common correlated effects and also complementarily determine the predictive power of accounting for uncertainties in the valuation of U.S. stocks. We find that hedging effectiveness is driven by the types of stocks and measures of uncertainty. Defensive stocks provide a good hedge for pandemic-induced uncertainty, and the hedging effectiveness is higher during calm market conditions as compared to turbulent conditions, while both categories lack hedging capability in the face of equity-induced uncertainty. Finally, we find that the inclusion of uncertainty in the predictive model of U.S. stock returns improves its forecasts and this conclusion is robust to alternative measures of uncertainty and multiple forecast horizons.

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