Memorial Day Trading: Normally Uninspired on Days Before Long Weekend

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May 20, 2020 at 9:06 AM

Memorial Day Trading: Normally Uninspired on Days Before Long Weekend

In the Stock Trader’s Almanac we show how the market trades around Memorial Day. In the table below we went back to 1971, the year the Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect, moving Memorial Day and most other federal holidays to Monday. In what used to be the “May/June Disaster area” the S&P was down 15 of 20 Mays from 1965 to 1984. Then May was the best month from 1985 to 1997. In recent years, the Friday before Memorial has become getaway day on The Street and volume is often diminished and trading uninspired. With many areas of the country reopening, this trend is likely to continue. Average performance on each of the three trading days prior to the long weekend is rather lackluster for S&P 500 and NASDAQ. NASDAQ does have a higher frequency of gains during the three days, but average performance is still tepid.

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