We studied the predictability of intraday stock market returns using both linear and nonlinear time series models. For the S&P 500 index we compared simple autoregressive and random walk linear models with a range of nonlinear models, including smooth transition, Markov switching, artificial neural network, nonparametric kernel regression and support vector machine models for horizons of 5, 10, 20, 30 and 60 minutes. The empirical results indicate that nonlinear models outperformed linear models on the basis of both statistical and economic criteria. Specifically, although return serial correlation receded by around 10 minutes, return predictability still persisted for up to 60 minutes according to nonlinear models, even though profitability decreases as time elapses. More flexible nonlinear models such as support vector machines and artificial neural network did not clearly outperform other nonlinear models. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.