Stock Picking with Machine Learning

27.05.2020

Asset Pricing, Empirical Capital Market Research

Keywords

  • Boosting
  • Deep Learning
  • Equity Portfolio Management
  • Investment Decisions
  • Long Short-Term Neural Networks (LSTM)
  • Machine Learning
  • Neural Networks
  • Random Forest
  • Stock Picking
  • Stock Selection

Authors

Wolff, Dr. Dominik Echterling, Dr. Fabian

Abstract

We combine insights from machine learning and finance research to build machine learning algorithms for stock selection. Our study builds on weekly data for the historical constituents of the S&P 500 over the period from 1999 to 2019 and includes typical equity factors as well as additional fundamental data, technical indicators, and historical returns. Deep Neural Networks (DNN), Long Short-Term Neural Networks (LSTM), Random Forest, Boosting, and Regularized Logistic Regression models are trained on stock characteristics to predict whether a specific stock outperforms the market over the subsequent week. We analyze a trading strategy that picks stocks with the highest probability predictions to outperform the market. Our empirical results show a substantial and significant outperformance of machine learning based stock selection models compared to a simple equally weighted benchmark. Moreover, we find non-linear machine learning models such as neural networks and tree-based models to outperform more simple regularized logistic regression approaches. The results are robust when applied to the STOXX Europe 600 as alternative asset universe. However, all analyzed machine learning strategies demonstrate a substantial portfolio turnover and transaction costs have to be marginal to capitalize on the strategies.

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