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Leap Day and the Markets

Friday, 29 Feb 2008 | 8:40 AM ET

Since the start of the Dow in 1896, there have only been 19 Leap Years with February 29 falling on a weekday including today. The last occurrence was eight years ago in 2000. Leap Day has been a down day more than up; only the Nasdaq has had more up Leap Days than down. Today's futures are pointing to an open that would follow this pattern.

February 29 and the Markets
Dow :

  • 18 past occurrences
  • 61% of the time down, 39% up
  • Avg gain of .13%
  • Best Feb 29 was in 1988 - the Dow soared 2.4%
  • Since the last Leap Year in 2000, the Dow is up almost 16%



    S&P :

    • 14 past occurrences
    • 57% of the time down, 43% up
    • Avg gain of .2%
    • Best Feb 29 was in 1988 - the S&P soared 2.0%
    • Since the last Leap Year in 2000, the S&P is down almost 4%

        NASDAQ :

        • 6 past occurrences
        • 17% of the time down, 83% up
        • Avg gain of .67%
        • Best Feb 29 was in 2000 - the NASDAQ soared 2.6%
        • Since the last Leap Year in 2000, the NASDAQ is down almost 50%, still suffering the most from the dotcom bubble.

            Month to date the three major indices are down. The Dow is down the least, only down .5%.

        Price   Change %Change
      DJIA
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      S&P 500
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      NASDAQ
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