A risk-return explanation of the momentum-reversal "anomaly"

G. Geoffrey Booth, Hung Gay Fung, Wai Kin Leung

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the nature of the momentum-reversal phenomenon exhibited by U.S. stock returns from 1962 to 2013. We use cumulative future returns of long-short portfolios, which are formed using prior returns as benchmarks, after portfolio formation to analyze the well-documented momentum-reversal pattern. Contrary to many previous studies our results demonstrate that there is no momentum-reversal anomaly. We show that size (market capitalization), which is often considered a proxy for risk, eventually dominates momentum's initial effect, causing stock prices and, hence, returns to move in the opposite direction. We demonstrate that this latter price movement is likely to be related to institutional trading.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-77
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Empirical Finance
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • Asset pricing
  • G12
  • Market capitalization
  • Momentum
  • Stock returns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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