Non-Secular Regularities in Stock Returns: The Impact of the High Holy Days on the U.S. Equity Market, Forthcoming in the Financial Analysts Journal
We study how daily returns and volume behave around the Jewish High Holy Days. We find that on both Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, volume is down significantly, relative to that on all trading days in the sample period. When we consider a cumulative measure that allows for preemptive or delayed trading activity, we find that returns are significantly positive around Rosh HaShanah and significantly negative around Yom Kippur. Overall, the results are consistent with our a priori intuition that Jews play a major role in equity trading, so that their sentiment around important Jewish holidays has a significant impact on the U.S. equity market.