Investor attention, psychological anchors, and stock return predictability

Jun Li, Jianfeng Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

190 Scopus citations


Motivated by psychological evidence on limited investor attention and anchoring, we propose two proxies for the degree to which traders under- and overreact to news, namely, the nearness to the Dow 52-week high and the nearness to the Dow historical high, respectively. We find that nearness to the 52-week high positively predicts future aggregate market returns, while nearness to the historical high negatively predicts future market returns. We further show that our proxies contain information about future market returns that is not captured by traditional macroeconomic variables and that our results are robust across G7 countries. Comprehensive Monte Carlo simulations and comparisons with the NYSE/Amex market cap index confirm the significance of these findings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-419
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Financial Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2012


  • 52-week high
  • Anchor
  • Attention
  • G12
  • G14
  • Overreaction
  • Underreaction


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