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Review of Financial Studies 27, 12 (2014) 3441-3466
We study the relation between mutual fund trades and mass media coverage of stocks. We find that funds exhibit persistent differences in their propensity to buy media-covered stocks. Moreover, this propensity is negatively related to their future performance. Funds in the highest propensity decile underperform funds in the lowest propensity decile by 1.1% to 2.8% per year. These results do not extend to fund sells, likely because of funds' inability to sell short. Overall, the findings suggest that professional investors are subject to limited attention.