Memorial Day is next Monday, giving the country a chance to honor our fallen military members. Memorial Day also marks the unofficial beginning to summer, and for those interested, below is a look at how the S&P 500 has historically performed during the shortened Memorial Day holiday work week. Since Memorial Day became an official federal holiday designated on the last Monday of May, the S&P 500 has averaged a nice gain of 0.56% during the 4-day Memorial Day work week. The median gain has been even better at +0.61%, and the index has seen gains during this 4-trading day stretch just over 60% of the time.
One caveat to the strong Memorial Day week returns is that over the last four years, the S&P has done very poorly. As shown below, the S&P has fallen by more than 1% during each Memorial Day week over the last four years. The bulls are hoping that 2014 bucks this recent trend given how many trends from this bull market have already been bucked this year!