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Let's Talk Turkey



As we look forward to a holiday shortened week, it's a good time to look at the historical performance surrounding Thanksgiving. After all, the week has a decidedly bullish bias. Most of the statistics mentioned in this piece are available in various forms via the Stock Traders Almanac or investment bank research reports. But the details are worth highlighting

  • For the week of Thanksgiving, the SPX finished higher 20 of the last 30 years. At first, this statistic sounds quite compelling. However, it's worth highlighting the disparity in performance over the last 10 years. Most of the gains occurred during the 70's and 80's. Since 1994, the week's close was 50 / 50.
  • So let's isolate the best performing days of the week. To no one's surprise, the day before and after Thanksgiving have performed well. In fact, the combined SPX return for Wednesday and Friday has been positive in 25 of the last 30 years by an average .55%.
  • Individually, the day before the holiday finished positive 23 of the last 30 by an average .28% and the day after finished higher 22 of the last 30 by an average .27%.
  • And now...the best for last. I like to call this analog "The Turkey Trade." It comes from the European markets. On the day of Thanksgiving, the German DAX finished higher 13 of the last 13 years. The day's close relative to the day's range is even more intriguing. The average high is +1.28%, the average low is just -.13% and the average close is +1.06%. So the index tends to close near the highs of the day.

In case you're interested, I've provided the detailed results below. Good luck and happy holidays!

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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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