September Seasonal Pattern: Weakness After Mid-Month

September is the
final month of the third quarter and historically it is essentially tied with
August as worst month of the year. Since 1950, September is ranked last for
DJIA, S&P 500, NASDAQ (since 1971) and Russell 1000 (since 1979). Small
caps, measured by the Russell 2000, have fared slightly better, but historical
average performance is still negative. Over the last 21 years, September has
generally opened tepidly with mixed performance depending on index with Russell
2000 often rising the most through mid-month. However after mid-month, any gains
have tended to fade quickly and turn into losses by month’s end. Sizable losses
in 2001, 2002, 2008 and 2011 weigh heavily on average performance.

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