Momentum Profits, Factor Pricing, and Macroeconomic Risk
We study the connection between momentum portfolio returns and shifts in factor loadings on the growth rate of industrial production. Winners have temporarily higher loadings than losers. The loading spread derives mostly from the high, positive loadings of winners. Small stocks have higher loadings than big stocks, and value stocks have higher loadings than growth stocks. Using standard multifactor tests, we present evidence that the growth rate of industrial production is a priced risk factor. In most of our tests, however, the combined effect of factor pricing and risk shifts does not explain a large fraction of momentum returns.