Macroeconomic News and Stock Returns in the United States and Germany


Address for correspondence: Norbert Funke, International Monetary Fund, 700 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20431, USA. Tel: 202-623-8033; fax: 202-623-7095


Abstract. Using daily data for the January 1997 to June 2002 period, we analyze similarities and differences in the impact of macroeconomic news on stock returns in the United States and Germany. We consider 27 different types of news for the United States and 12 different types of news for Germany. For the United States, we present evidence for asymmetric reactions of stock prices to news. In a boom (recession) period, bad (good) news on GDP growth and unemployment or lower (higher) than expected interest rates may be good news for stock prices. In the period under consideration there is little evidence for asymmetric effects in Germany. However, in the case of Germany, international news appears at least as important as domestic news. There is no evidence that US stock prices are influenced by German news. The analysis of bi-hourly data for Germany confirms these results.