October tends to be a good month for US stocks, except during election years

A look at October in the S&P 500

A look at October in the S&P 500

The average October gain for the S&P 500 over the past 20 years is 1.19%, making it the fourth best month on the calendar.

There is one big caveat for 2020 though: Election years tend to be tough.

  • 2016 -1.94%
  • 2012 -1.98%
  • 2008 -16.94%
  • 2004 + 1.4%
  • 2000 -0.49%

The only exception was Bush-Kerry in 2004 and there was little doubt about that, as Bush held a 2-6 percentage point lead in the poll average throughout the month leading up to the election.

Also note that Novembers after an election tend to be a bit better with the exception of 2008 when the economy was crashing and 2000 when there was a contested election and a tech meltdown.

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