This dissertation consists of two essays in empirical asset pricing. Chapter I, "Skewness and Co-skewness in Bond Returns," explores skewness and co-skewness in discrete-horizon bond returns. Using data for 1976-2005, we find bond skewness is comparable to that in equities, varies with the holding period and varies over time. Speculative-grade bonds and collateralized securities have substantial negative skewness. The sign of the price of co-skewness risk in fixed income market is in general consistent with the theoretical prediction of the three-moment CAPM. Co-skewness against the market portfolio is priced differently in various bond sectors: taking a unit of co-skewness risk is rewarded with 0.43% and 2.47% per month for corporate bonds and collateralized securities, respectively. Co-skewness risk helps explain the cross section of expected bond returns when state variables such as inflation, real activity, or short term interest rates are included, or when conditioning information is exploited. Chapter II, "Modern Portfolio Management with Conditioning Information," studies models in which active portfolio managers optimize performance relative to a benchmark and utilize conditioning information unavailable to their clients. We provide explicit solutions for the optimal strategies with multiple risky assets, with or without a risk free asset, and also consider various constraints on portfolio risk or on portfolio weights. The equilibrium implications of the models are discussed. A currency portfolio example shows that the optimal solutions improve the measured performance by 53% out of sample, compared with portfolios ignoring conditioning information.