This study investigates how returns on the S&P 500 index respond orthogonally to dividend yield and price-to-earning innovations. The unrestricted vector autoregression (VAR) analysis of monthly data from 1871 to 2012 shows that the response of returns on the S&P 500 index to dividend yield innovation, based on the 12-month horizon, is positive in the first three months, negative in the 4th through 7th months and positive again after that. The returns on the S&P 500 index are negative in the first five months following price-to-earning shock. The Granger causality tests indicate a causal link between returns on the S&P 500 index, dividend yield and price-to-earning. This study offers an important implication for asset management and valuation.