How Google Search Trends Can Be Used as Technical Indicators for the S&P500-Index : A Time Series Analysis Using Granger’s Causality Test
Abstract: This thesis studies whether Google search trends can be used as indicators for movements in the S&P500 index. Using Granger's causality test, the level of causality between movements in the S&P500 index and Google search volumes for certain keywords is analyzed. The result of the analysis is used to form an investment strategy entirely based on Google search volumes, which is then backtested over a five year period using historic data. The causality tests show that 8 of 30 words indicate causality at a 10% level of significance, where one word, mortgage, indicates causality at a 1% level of significance. Several investment strategies based on search volumes yield higher returns than the index itself over the considered five year period, where the best performing strategy beats the index with over 60 percentage units.
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