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No Dancing in September


This September ranks above average, but not overwhelmingly so.


September can be the cruelest month of all. Septembers have lost ground an average -1.06% on the Dow since 1950, and an average -1.24% since 1896.

In the 55 years since 1950, the Dow Industrials have advanced in only 19 Septembers, leaving 36 years as downers. Here they are ranked in order of change:

Of the 19 Septembers with gains, 19 (or 26%) were down in the following fourth quarter. All the Q4s for those 19 up-Septembers averaged a gain of 3.59%, and just 2.63% on a median basis. For those 36 down Septembers since 1950, only 7 of the 36 (or 19%) were followed by down Q4s. All the Q4s for those 36 down Septembers averaged a gain of 4.27%, and 5.07% on a median basis.

This September (2005) has come in with a gain of 0.83% on the Dow Industrials. In the spectrum of past Septembers, this ranks as above average, but not overwhelmingly so. With this event there are now 20 Septembers since 1950 that have been gainers, but this September only ranks 17th in that list:

Our conclusion is that up Septembers are no guarantee of a better than average Q4.

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