A New Anomaly: The Cross-Sectional Profitability of Technical Analysis

Yufeng Han, Ke Yang and Guofu Zhou
Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Volume 48 Issue 05, October 2013, pp 1433-1461.

In this paper, we document that an application of a moving average timing strategy of technical analysis to portfolios sorted by volatility generates investment timing portfolios that substantially outperform the buy-and-hold strategy. For high-volatility portfolios, the abnormal returns, relative to the capital asset pricing model (CAPM) and the Fama-French 3-factor models, are of great economic significance, and are greater than those from the well-known momentum strategy. Moreover, they cannot be explained by market timing ability, investor sentiment, default, and liquidity risks. Similar results also hold if the portfolios are sorted based on other proxies of information uncertainty.