The Information Content of Option Ratios

Document Type




Format of Original

9 p.

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Source Publication

Journal of Banking & Finance

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A broad stream of research shows that information flows into underlying stock prices through the options market. For instance, prior research shows that both the Put–Call Ratio (P/C) and the Option-to-Stock Volume Ratio (O/S) predict negative future stock returns. In this paper, we compare the level of information contained in these two commonly used option volume ratios. First, we find that P/C ratios contain more predictability about future stock returns at the daily level than O/S ratios. Second, in contrast to our first set of results, O/S ratios contain more predictability about future returns at the weekly and monthly levels than P/C ratios. In fact, our tests show that while P/C ratios contain predictability about future daily returns and, to some extent, future weekly returns, the return predictability in P/C ratios is fleeting. O/S ratios, on the other hand, significantly predict negative returns at all levels: daily, weekly, and monthly. While Pan and Poteshman (2006) show that signed P/C ratios, which require proprietary data, have predictive power, we find that unsigned P/C ratios, which do not require proprietary data, also have predictive power.


Journal of Banking & Finance, Vol. 43 (June 2014): 179-187. DOI.