News - good or bad - and its impact over multiple horizons

Xilong Chen, Eric Ghysels* ( University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill)


It is difficult to define news, and many definitions are de facto model-based since part of what is announced is anticipated. Therefore, news is defined as a residual within the context of some type of prediction model, and the prediction model locks in the sampling frequency that is the reference time scale for analyzing propagation mechanisms. We try toaccomplish two goals: (1) characterize news as much as possible as a model-free observation, and (2) measure the impact ofnews over any arbitrary horizon of interest. We revisit the concept of news impact curves introduced by Engle and Ng (1993), in the current data rich environment of financial market time series. Instead of taking a single horizon fixed parametric specification, we recast many of the original ideas in a very flexible multi-horizon semi-parametric setting. We find that moderately good (intra-daily) news reduces volatility (the next day), while both very good news (unusual high positive returns) and bad news(negative returns) increase volatility, with the latter having amore severe impact. The asymmetries we find have profound implications for current volatility prediction models that are based on in-sample asymptotic analysis developed over recent years. Technically speaking we introduce semi-parametric MIDAS regressions and study their asymptotic properties. The analysis relates to and extends recent work by Linton and Mammen (2005). In addition we also introduce various new parametric models.