In this study, the effects of COVID-19 (mortality rate, case rate, and bed capacity) on the stock market was examined within the framework of the efficient market hypothesis. Unlike other studies in the literature, we used the variable of bed capacity besides the mortality rate and case rate variables. The relationship between the mentioned variables, using daily data between December 31 of 2019 and November 10 of 2020, has been analyzed with time-varying symmetric and asymmetric causality tests for China, Germany, the USA, and India. Considering that the responses to positive and negative shocks during the pandemic process may be different and that the results may change depending on time, time-varying symmetric and asymmetric causality tests were used. According to the time-varying symmetric causality test, stock markets in all countries were affected in the period when the cases first appeared. A causal relationship between COVID-19 and country stock markets was found. The results showed that the effects of the case rate and bed capacity on the stock market occurred around the same time in Germany and the United States; however, these dates differed in China and India. According to time-varying asymmetric causality test findings, the asymmetric effect of the pandemic on the stock market in countries emerged during the second wave. The findings showed that the period during which positive and negative information about the pandemic intensified coincided with the period during which the second wave occurred; besides, the results show the effect of this information on the stock market differed as positive and negative shocks.
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