Mike Panzner sends us this Q3 variation of the January effect:
During the past two decades, the market has been up in the first month of a quarter 61.45% of the time and down 38.55% of the time, with a median gain of 1.22%. For the last two months of a quarter, the ratios are similar: up 62.65% and down 37.35% of the time, with a median gain over that latter two-month span of 1.17%.
However, over that 20-year period, the performance in both the first month and the latter two-month span of the third quarter has had more of a negative bias.
The first month of the third quarter, for instance, has only been up 45% of the time, while it has been down 55% of the time, with a median loss of 0.53%. For the period from August through September, the ratios are somewhat similar: up 50% and down 50% of the time, with a median loss of 0.01%.
More interesting, perhaps, is that when the first month of the third quarter is down — as seems to be the way things are shaping up at present, with the S&P 500 down 0.82% for the month, though there is still a week to go — the latter two months have been down 63.64% of the time, with a median loss of 2.03%.
One possible conclusion: a weak performance in the first month of the third quarter seems to boost the odds that the next two months will also be disappointing.
I’m not convinced that August will be a bad month for equities . . .