Stock return variances: The arrival of information and the reaction of traders

01 May 2015

Article by: Kenneth R. French, Richard Roll
Published by: Journal of Financial Economics
Date: 1986

“Asset prices are much more volatile during exchange trading hours than during non-trading hours. This paper considers three explanations for this phenomenon: (1) volatility is caused by public information which is more likely to arrive during normal business hours; (2) volatility is caused by private information which affects prices when informed investors trade; and (3) volatility is caused by pricing errors that occur during trading. Although a significant fraction of the daily variance is caused by mispricing, the behavior of returns around exchange holidays suggests that private information is the principle factor behind high trading-time variances.”

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