Stocktake: Bulls hoping for some seasonal strength

Stocks have hit new all-time highs in every month so far this year

The bull of Wall Street. Photograph: iStock

The bull of Wall Street. Photograph: iStock

 

There’s a lot of uncertainty right now but the buy-the-dip brigade can at least point to potential for seasonal strength in coming weeks.

Historically, December has been the third-strongest month for stocks, notes LPL Research, posting average monthly gains of 1.5 per cent. Stocks have gained in December 74 per cent of the time – more than any other month.

December’s gains tend to be even stronger when stocks are up over 20 per cent, like this year. Indeed, the S&P 500 has advanced in December in eight of the past nine times the year was up over 20 per cent.

Of course, history is a guide, not a guarantee. Historically, November has been indices’ strongest months, but 2021 proved different, as the Omicron variant roiled markets in the closing days of the month.

Still, stocks have hit new all-time highs in every month this year. A repeat performance would make a “perfect 12 for 12”, says LPL Research, “matching 2014 as the only years to complete this incredible feat”.

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