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Do stock markets catch the flu? New study by UTSA professor says yes

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(Jan. 24, 2013) -- Chances are you or someone you know has suffered from the flu within the past few months. In fact, this winter, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported some of the highest levels of influenza in several years. But, your health may not be the only thing that suffers during a flu epidemic. In fact, stock market trading activity decreases when flu incidence is high, according to a new study by John Wald, UTSA professor of finance in the College of Business.

The study, "Do Stock Markets Catch the Flu?" is forthcoming in the Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis. Wald and his co-authors examined the impact of influenza on stock markets, studying the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for trading activity and the CDC and Google Flu Trends to measure flu activity in and outside the United States over 13 years.

The results noted that in the United States, a higher incidence of flu is associated with decreased trading, decreased volatility, decreased returns and higher bid-ask spreads. Consistent with the flu affecting institutional investors and market makers, the decrease in trading activity and volatility is primarily driven by the incidence of influenza in the New York City area. However, the effect of the flu on bid-ask spreads and returns is related to the incidence of flu nationally. International data confirm their findings of a decrease in trading activity and returns when flu incidence is high.

So, should investors be wary of flu season? Wald says: "The importance of local flu effects on financial markets suggests that it may be important for companies to urge their key employees to get a flu shot."

 

 

Events

Thursday, April 28, 6 p.m.

1000 Parks & a Line in the Sky: Broadway, Avenue of the Future

UTSA CACP associate professor Dr. Antonio Petrov and a team of students will present and exhibit an updated version of their 50-foot-long model of Broadway and accompanying design proposal.
Brick at Blue Star Arts Complex, Bldg. 108 (1414 S. Alamo St.)

Friday, April 29, 10 a.m.

Earth Week sensitive document shredding

As part of Earth Week, the Evironmental Health, Safety and Risk Management department is providing on-site shredding services for the entire UTSA community.
Parking lot between HUC & Ximenes garage

Friday, April 29, 11 a.m.

Downtown Campus document shredding

Faculty, staff and students at the UTSA downtown campus can bring their personal documents to the event to have them shredded on-site
Durango builidng service ramp

Saturday, April 30, 8 a.m.

The Academy for Teacher Excellence end of year celebration

The Academy for Teacher Excellence (ATE) in the College of Education and Human Development (COEHD) will host an end of year celebration to honor día del niño (Day of the Child).  This family oriented event is free and open to the public. The event will include hands-on demonstrations, cultural dance performances, scavenger hunts and more.
UTSA Downtown Campus

Tuesday, May 3, 5 p.m.

Henry B. Gonzalez Centennial Tribute

The College of Public Policy and the Office for Community Services present a 100th anniversary salute to the late Congressman Henry B. Gonzalez. A distinguished panel will discuss the historical impact of Henry B. on politics and public policy. Event is free and open to the public.
Aula Canaria Lecture Hall (BV 1.328) , Downtown Campus

Wednesday, May 18, 3 p.m.

The Great Staff Appreciation Event

The UTSA community is invited to honor the roughly 2,600 UTSA staff members who contribute to the success of the university and its students.
University Center Ballroom, Main Campus

Saturday, May 21, 9 a.m.

P-20 Parent Engagement Summit

The 2016 P-20 Summit on Parent Engagement Summit provides high school, college and career preparatory resources to 6-8th grade students and their families. Registration is required. Seats are limited. Parking is free and lunch is provided.
UTSA Downtown Campus


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