Luís A. Nunes Amaral

co-Director, Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems
Professor of Chemical & Biological Engineering
Professor of Physics & Astronomy (by courtesy)
Professor of Medicine (by courtesy)

Chemical & Biological Engineering
2145 Sheridan Road (Room E136)
EvanstonIL 60208US
Phone: (847) 491-7850


We present a phenomenological study of stock price fluctuations of individual companies. We systematically analyze two different databases covering securities from the three major U.S. stock markets: (a) the New York Stock Exchange, (b) the American Stock Exchange, and (c) the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation stock market. Specifically, we consider (i) the trades and quotes database, for which we analyze 40 million records for 1000 U.S. companies for the 2-yr period 1994-95; and (ii) the Center for Research and Security Prices database, for which we analyze 35 million daily records for approximately 16000 companies in the 35-yr period 1962-96. We study the probability distribution of returns over varying time scales Delta t, where Delta t varies by a factor of approximate to 10(5), from 5 min up to approximate to 4 yr. For time scales from 5 min up to approximately 16 days, we find that the tails of the distributions can be well described by a power-law decay, characterized by an exponent 2.5