Working Paper

Sentiment Dynamics and Stock Returns: The Case of the German Stock Market


  • Lux
  • T.
Publication Date

We use weekly survey data on short-term and medium-term sentiment of German investors in order to study the causal relationship between investors' mood and subsequent stock price changes. In contrast to extant literature for other countries, a tri-variate vector autoregression for short-run sentiment, medium-run sentiment and stock index returns allows to reject exogeneity of returns. Depending on the chosen VAR specification, returns are found to either follow a feedback process caused by medium-run sentiment, or returns form a simultaneous systems together with the two sentiment measures. An out-of-sample forecasting experiment on the base of estimated VAR models shows significant exploitable linear structure for the richer VAR(5) model. Out-of-sample trading experiments underscore the potential for excess profits from a VAR-based strategy compared to the buy-and-hold benchmark.


JEL Classification
G12, G14, C22

Key Words

  • investor sentiment
  • opinion dynamics
  • Return Predictability