September Is Not Always the Worst Performing Month

by: Elias Tsepouridis

Don't believe everything you hear. Going into Labor Day weekend, all I heard was the "September is the worst month for the US equity markets". With so much noise in the system, I needed to check the facts for myself.

Summary of Findings for the S&P 500 from 1951-2007

-The facts do show that September ranks as the worst performing month when you average over the last 56 years,
- Out of the 56 years, August was the worst performing month 12 out of the 56 years (21.4%)
- When ranking the monthly performance spread (Max Performance less Min Performance), October is the most volatile month with a spread of 3,807 basis points

Below are a few reference charts that provide support some of the data:

Exhibit 1. S&P 500 Monthly Performance Spreads
[click to enlarge]

Exhibit 2. S&P 500 Monthly Performance

[click to enlarge]
Exhibit 3. DOW 30 Monthly Performance

[click to enlarge]

Exhibit 4. Nasdaq 100 Performance
[click to enlarge]

Don't believe everything you hear...check the facts for yourself.