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The Information Content of Option Prices: Evidence from S&P 500 Index Options
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 Title & Authors
The Information Content of Option Prices: Evidence from S&P 500 Index Options
Ren, Chenghan; Choi, Byungwook;
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This study addresses the question as to whether the option prices have useful predictive information on the direction of stock markets by investigating a forecasting power of volatility curvatures and skewness premiums implicit in S&P 500 index option prices traded in Chicago Board Options Exchange. We begin by estimating implied volatility functions and risk neutral price densities every minute based on non-parametric method and then calculate volatility curvature and skewness premium using them. The rationale is that high volatility curvature or high skewness premium often leads to strong bullish sentiment among market participants. We found that the rate of return on the signal following trading strategy was significantly higher than that on the intraday buy-and-hold strategy, which indicates that the S&P500 index option prices have a strong forecasting power on the direction of stock index market. Another major finding is that the information contents of S&P 500 index option prices disappear within one minute, and so one minute-delayed signal following trading strategy would not lead to any excess return compared to a simple buy-and-hold strategy.
Risk Neutral Probability Density(RND);Volatility Curvature;Skewness Premium;S&P 500 Index Option;Signal Following Trading Strategy;
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