A study of stock market fluctuations and their relation to business conditions

Man Fu, Florida International University


Most research on stock prices is based on the present value model or the more general consumption-based model. When applied to real economic data, both of them are found unable to account for both the stock price level and its volatility. Three essays here attempt to both build a more realistic model, and to check whether there is still room for bubbles in explaining fluctuations in stock prices. In the second chapter, several innovations are simultaneously incorporated into the traditional present value model in order to produce more accurate model-based fundamental prices. These innovations comprise replacing with broad dividends the more narrow traditional dividends that are more commonly used, a nonlinear artificial neural network (ANN) forecasting procedure for these broad dividends instead of the more common linear forecasting models for narrow traditional dividends, and a stochastic discount rate in place of the constant discount rate. Empirical results show that the model described above predicts fundamental prices better, compared with alternative models using linear forecasting process, narrow dividends, or a constant discount factor. Nonetheless, actual prices are still largely detached from fundamental prices. The bubblelike deviations are found to coincide with business cycles. The third chapter examines possible cointegration of stock prices with fundamentals and non-fundamentals. The output gap is introduced to form the nonfundamental part of stock prices. I use a trivariate Vector Autoregression (TVAR) model and a single equation model to run cointegration tests between these three variables. Neither of the cointegration tests shows strong evidence of explosive behavior in the DJIA and S&P 500 data. Then, I applied a sup augmented Dickey-Fuller test to check for the existence of periodically collapsing bubbles in stock prices. Such bubbles are found in S&P data during the late 1990s. Employing econometric tests from the third chapter, I continue in the fourth chapter to examine whether bubbles exist in stock prices of conventional economic sectors on the New York Stock Exchange. The ‘old economy’ as a whole is not found to have bubbles. But, periodically collapsing bubbles are found in Material and Telecommunication Services sectors, and the Real Estate industry group.

Subject Area


Recommended Citation

Fu, Man, "A study of stock market fluctuations and their relation to business conditions" (2009). ProQuest ETD Collection for FIU. AAI3393507.