Caught On Tape: Institutional Order Flow and Stock Returns

John Y. Campbell, Tarun Ramadorai, Tuomo O. Vuolteenaho

NBER Working Paper No. 11439
Issued in June 2005
NBER Program(s):   AG

Many questions about institutional trading can only be answered if one can track high-frequency changes in institutional ownership. In the US, however, institutions are only required to report their ownership quarterly in 13-F filings. We infer daily institutional trading behavior from the "tape", the Transactions and Quotes database of the New York Stock Exchange, using both a naive approach and a sophisticated method that best matches quarterly 13-F data. Increases in our measures of institutional flows negatively predict returns, particularly when institutions are selling. We interpret this as evidence that 13-F institutions compensate more patient investors for the service of providing liquidity. We also find that both very large and very small trades signal institutional activity, while medium size trades signal activity by the rest of the market.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11439

Published: Campbell, John Y. & Ramadorai, Tarun & Schwartz, Allie, 2009. "Caught on tape: Institutional trading, stock returns, and earnings announcements," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 66-91, April.

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