Does high-frequency trading cause stock prices to deviate from fundamental values?


School of Accountancy

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We examine whether high-frequency trading (HFT) is associated with greater deviations of stock prices from firms’ fundamental, intrinsic values. Prior studies show that HFT can improve market liquidity and price discovery in the short-term, but countervailing effects can discourage new information acquisition, reduce the amount of fundamental news reflected in stock prices, and reduce institutional investors’ desire to invest and trade in stocks subject to high levels of HFT. We find that greater HFT leads to a greater deviation of stock prices from accounting-based valuation estimates. The results hold across univariate, multivariate, and cross-sectional tests, as well as a natural experiment that induces an exogenous shock to HFT for a small sample of firms. Our findings contribute to the understanding of the longer-term valuation implications of HFT, as well as the traditional valuation role of accounting variables.

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Accounting and Business Research

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