Flight to quality and the predictability of reversals: The role of market states and global factors

Demirer R., Yuksel A., Yüksel S. A.

Research in International Business and Finance, vol.42, pp.1445-1454, 2017 (Scopus) identifier identifier


This paper examines the time-series predictability of reversals in an emerging stock market, Borsa Istanbul. We show that short-term reversals, thus the payoffs to the contrarian strategy, are predictable with the market state found as the primary predictor. The reversal effect is driven by flight to quality stocks with high earnings and low price multiples during negative market states, which then gives rise to subsequent reversals in those stocks, thus predicting higher contrarian payoffs. Interestingly, oil return is found to absorb much of the predictive power of macroeconomic variables and global risk proxies. Our findings lend partial support to risk-based as well as behavioral explanations for reversals and suggest that a contrarian strategy with value stocks, conditional on the market state, could be employed within a managed fund in order to generate abnormal profits that cannot be earned by conventional models.