We examine the impact of Ebola headline news days on media-highlighted
stocks. An Ebola news day (negative or positive in nature) is associated with increased
trading, higher share volume, higher dollar volume, and increased share turnover.
OLS regressions on industry-specific portfolios reveal that airline, restaurant, and
cruise ship returns reverse themselves one day after the Ebola news event, a result
that is consistent with behavioral overreaction literature. Empirical findings could be
used to prepare market participants for analogous epidemics.
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