Conditional alphas and realized betas

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This paper proposes a two-step procedure to back out the conditional alpha of a given stock using high-frequency data. We rst estimate the realized factor loadings of the stocks, and then retrieve their conditional alphas by estimating the conditional expectation of their risk-adjusted returns. We start with the underlying continuous-time stochastic process that governs the dynamics of every stock price and then derive the conditions under which we may consistently estimate the daily factor loadings and the resulting conditional alphas. We also contribute empiri-cally to the conditional CAPM literature by examining the main drivers of the conditional alphas of the S&P 100 index constituents from January 2001 to December 2008. In addition, to con rm whether these conditional alphas indeed relate to pricing errors, we assess the performance of both cross-sectional and time-series momentum strategies based on the conditional alpha estimates. The ndings are very promising in that these strategies not only seem to perform pretty well both in absolute and relative terms, but also exhibit virtually no systematic exposure to the usual risk factors (namely, market, size, value and momentum portfolios).

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