Three Day Rallies?

Dan Greenhaus is at the Equity Strategy Group at Miller Tabak + Co. where he covers markets and portfolio theory. He has contributed several chapters to Investing From the Top Down: A Macro Approach to Capital Markets (by Anthony Crescenzi).

This is his recent commentary of November 24, 2008:


This morning I had noted that over the last 50 trading days, the market has put together three back to back up days, Sept 18th and 19th, Sept 25th and 26th and Oct 30th and 31st. We appear on track for today to be the 4th such instance and the first of November, which led me to take a look at three consecutive trading days.

Going back to the very beginning of June, over the last 125 trading days the market has put together five periods of three day rallies; Sept 10th, 11th and 12th, August 20th, 21st and 22nd, August 26th, 27th and 28th, July 16th, 17th and 18th, and June 12th, 13th and 16th which wrapped around a weekend. This has no statistically significant bearing on anything at all, and in no way effects anything about tomorrow’s trading, but it is interesting to note the infrequency of these types of moves over the course of the last few months.

You may remember, because it was mentioned quite frequently, but we went quite a long time without a 2% selloff in the S&P. Unless my excel formula is wrong, we went from May 19, 2003 (-2.49%) until Feb 27, 2007 (-3.47%) without a 2% decline on the S&P which represents 951 trading days.

As a comparison, over the last 39 trading days, going back to the beginning of October, the market has been down 26 times (66.67% of the time) and of those 26 declines, only 8 of them, or 30.8% of the time, have been for LESS than 2%. The remaining 18 declines we’ve seen since October began, 69.2% of the time, have been declines of more than 2%.

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