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Groundhog Day: Six Weeks of Winter Ahead?

Groundhog Day
Groundhog
Groundhog Day

It's Groundhog Day, the day meteorologists turn to these furry little prognosticators to determine whether Spring will come early or we will have another 6 weeks of Winter. If the groundhog sees its shadow, there are more cold days ahead.

So with an overcast sky over Wall Street this morning, the odds of a shadow sighting are mixed and the Dow and S&P 500 futures are pointing to a slightly higher open. Here is a look at the historical relationship between Groundhog Day and the major US indices and whether the markets are in for more cold days ahead or not. For the major indices, there are greater odds of an up day on February 2 than gaining over the following six weeks.

Dow (since 1897):

  • February 2: Average gain of 0.08%, up 57.5% of the time
  • 6 weeks later: Average gain of 0.52%, up 54.9% of the time -
  • Last year, the Dow fell over 9% in the six weeks that followed Groundhog Day and has been down over the 6-week period for five of the past seven years

S&P 500 (since 1928):

  • February 2: Average gain of 0.18%, up 63.4% of the time
  • 6 weeks later: Average gain of 0.28%, up 52.4% of the time
  • Last year, the S&P fell 8.7% in the six weeks that followed Groundhog Day and has been down over the 6-week period for six of the past seven years

NASDAQ (since 1972):

  • February 2: Average gain of 0.07%, up 68.4% of the time
  • 6 weeks later: Average gain of .4%, up 55.3% of the time
  • Last year, the NASDAQ fell 6% in the six weeks that followed Groundhog Day and has been down over the 6-week period for five of the past seven years

All indices, however, have been up over the following 6 weeks more often than not. The Nasdaq has had the best gains on average in the 6 weeks that follow Groundhog Day.

Leading the Dow in the premarket this morning are Alcoa , American Express , Exxon Mobil , Hewlett Packard and United Technologies .

Comments? Send them to bythenumbers@cnbc.com

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