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Start Of Unfavorable Market Seasonality Very Close!

  • Written by Syndicated Publisher No Comments Comments
    April 28, 2013

    Next Wednesday, May 1, begins a six-month period of unfavorable seasonality, of which we are commonly reminded by the saying “Sell in May and go away.”

    Research published by Yale Hirsch in the Trader’s Almanac shows that the market year is broken into two six-month seasonality periods. From May 1 through October 31 is seasonally unfavorable, and the market most often finishes lower than it was at the beginning of the period. From November 1 through April 30 is seasonally favorable, and the market most often finishes the period higher. (See Sy Harding’s book Riding the Bear for details on this subject.) While the statistical average results for these two periods are quite compelling, trying to ride the market in real-time in hopes of capturing these results is not always as easy as it sounds.


    (This is an excerpt from recent blogs for Decision Point subscribers.)

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    Below is a one-year chart showing the last two six-month seasonality periods. It begins on May 1, 2012 and ends on April 24, 2013 (anticipating the end of the six-month period next week. The left half of the chart shows the unfavorable May through October period and the right half shows the favorable November through April period. The green line shows the Dow’s level at the beginning of the favorable period, the red line the Dow’s level at the beginning of the unfavorable period. As you can see, the Dow did finish the unfavorable period lower than where it started, and in the favorable period it finished well above its starting point.


    The prior one-year period is a textbook example of seasonality tendencies.


    Regardless of how the market performs on average, every year is different and presents its own challenges, and there is no guarantee that any given period will conform to the average. Remember that bull and bear market pressures will override seasonal tendencies. The following chart is an example where a bull market completely ignored unfavorable seasonality.


    And with the next chart the bear market ruled.


    Conclusion: Seasonal tendencies will be working against the stock market for the next six months. While this is no guarantee that the bears will have control, they will have the wind at their back.

    Images: Flickr (licence attribution)

    About The Author

    Carl SwenlinCarl Swenlin is a self-taught technical analyst, who has been involved in market analysis since 1981. A pioneer in the creation of online technical resources, he is president and founder of DecisionPoint.com, a premier technical analysis website specializing in stock market indicators, charting, and focused research reports. Mr. Swenlin is a Member of the Market Technicians Association.