Objective research to aid investing decisions

Value Investing Strategy (Strategy Overview)

Allocations for February 2024 (Final)
Cash TLT LQD SPY

Momentum Investing Strategy (Strategy Overview)

Allocations for February 2024 (Final)
1st ETF 2nd ETF 3rd ETF

Calendar Effects

The time of year affects human activities and moods, both through natural variations in the environment and through artificial customs and laws. Do such calendar effects systematically and significantly influence investor/trader attention and mood, and thereby equity prices? These blog entries relate to calendar effects in the stock market.

SACEMS, SACEVS and Trading Calendar Updates

We have updated monthly allocations and performance data for the Simple Asset Class ETF Momentum Strategy (SACEMS) and the Simple Asset Class ETF Value Strategy (SACEVS). We have also updated performance data for the Combined Value-Momentum Strategy. There was a post-close correction to SACEMS third place due to an extremely tight finish.

We have updated the Trading Calendar to incorporate data for January 2024.

Long-term SMA and TOTM Combination Strategy

“Turn-of-the-Month Effect Persistence and Robustness” indicates that average absolute returns during the turn-of-the-month (TOTM) are strong for both bull and bear markets. Does a strategy of capturing all bull market returns and TOTM returns only during bear markets perform well? To investigate, we apply four strategies to SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) as a tradable proxy for the stock market:

  1. SPY – buy and hold SPY.
  2. SMA200 – hold SPY (cash) when SPY closes above (below) its 200-day simple moving average (SMA200) the prior day.
  3. TOTM – hold SPY from the close five trading days before through the close four trading days after the last trading day of each month and cash at all other times (TOTM).
  4. SMA200 or TOTM – hold SPY when SPY closes above its 200-day SMA the prior day and otherwise use the TOTM strategy.

We explore sensitivities of these strategies to a range of one-way SPY-cash switching frictions, with baseline 0.1%. Using daily dividend-adjusted SPY from the end of January 1993 through early January 2024 and contemporaneous 3-month Treasury bill (T-bill) yields as the return on cash, we find that: Keep Reading

Turn-of-the-Month Effect Persistence and Robustness

Is the Turn-of-the-Month (TOTM) effect, a concentration of relatively strong stock market returns around the turns of calendar months, persistent over time and robust to different market conditions. Does it exist for all calendar months? Does it persist throughout the U.S. political cycle? Does it work for different equity indexes? To investigate, we define TOTM as the interval from the close five trading days before to the close four trading days after the last trading day of the month (a total of eight trading days, centered on the monthly close). Using daily closes for the S&P 500 Index since January 1928 and for the Russell 2000 Index since mid-September 1987, both through early January 2024, we find that: Keep Reading

January Barometer Over the Long Run

Does long term data support the belief that “as goes January, so goes the rest of the year” (January is the barometer) for the the U.S. stock market? To investigate, we consider two views of the S&P 500 Index over its full history:

  • Correlations between index returns during each calendar month and returns over the next 11 months.
  • Index performance during the next 11 months across ranked thirds (terciles) of January returns.

Using monthly closes of the S&P 500 Index from the end of 1927 through 2023 (96 years), we find that: Keep Reading

Year of the Decade Effect?

Are some years of the decade better than others for equity markets? To investigate, we look at average annual returns by year of the decade (xxx0 through xxx9) for the U.S. stock market. Using annual levels of Shiller’s S&P Composite Index for 1871-2023 and the S&P 500 Index for 1928-2023, we find that: Keep Reading

Growing Political Effect?

“Seasonal Strategy for QQQ?” finds an interesting even year-odd year effect in Invesco QQQ Trust (QQQ) annual returns. The Trading Calendar and “Monthly Returns During Presidential and Congressional Election Years” find notable differences in S&P 500 Index performances for even years and odd years. A plausible culprit is federal elections. Is this effect growing over time? To investigate, we look at four indexes over their full histories:

  1. Shiller’s S&P Composite Index during 1871 through 2023 (152 annual returns).
  2. The S&P 500 Index during 1927 through 2023 (96 returns).
  3. The NASDAQ 100 Index during 1985 through 2023 (38 returns).
  4. The Russell 200 Index during 1987 through 2023 (36 returns).

For each index, we calculate annual returns for even years and odd years and look at the separate trends in these returns over time. Using the selected end-of-year index levels, we find that: Keep Reading

U.S. Stock Market Performance by Intra-year Phase

The full-year Trading Calendar indicates that the U.S. stock market has three phases over the calendar year, corresponding to calendar year trading days 1-84 (January-April), 85-210 (May-October) and 211-252 (November-December). What are typical stock market returns and return variabilities for these phases? Using daily S&P 500 Index closes from the end of December 1927 through December 2023, we find that: Keep Reading

Stock Returns Around New Year’s Day

Does the New Year’s Day holiday, a time of replanning and income tax positioning, systematically affect investors in a way that translates into U.S. stock market returns? To investigate, we analyze the historical behavior of the S&P 500 Index during the five trading days before and the five trading days after the holiday. Using daily closing levels of the S&P 500 Index around New Year’s Day for 1951-2023 (73 observations), we find that: Keep Reading

Stock Returns Around Christmas

Does the Christmas holiday, a time of putative good will toward all, give U.S. stock investors a sense of optimism that translates into stock returns? To investigate, we analyze the historical behavior of the S&P 500 Index during five trading days before through five trading days after the holiday. Using daily closing levels of the S&P 500 Index for 1950-2022 (73 events), we find that: Keep Reading

U.S. Stock Market Returns Around Thanksgiving

Does the Thanksgiving holiday, a time of families celebrating plenty, give U.S. stock investors a sense of optimism that translates into stock returns? To investigate, we analyze the historical behavior of the S&P 500 Index during the three trading days before and the three trading days after the holiday. Using daily closing levels of the S&P 500 Index for 1950-2022 (73 events), we find that: Keep Reading

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