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ABSTRACT

The behavior of time-weighted bid-ask spreads over the trading day are examined. The plot of minute-by-minute spreads versus time of day has a crude reverse J-shaped pattern. Schwartz identifies four determinants of spreads: activity, risk, information, and competition. Using a linear regression model, a significant relationship between these same factors and intraday spreads is demonstrated, but dummy variables for time of day have a reverse J-shape. For given values of the activity, risk, information and competition measures, spreads are higher at the beginning and end of the day relative to the interior period.