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Rare 6-Day Losing Streak to Start Month?

Bob Pisani is off; this post was written by CNBC producer Robert Hum.

After the disappointing non-farm payrolls report last Friday, there has been little catalyst to move the markets higher this week, with the absence of any big earnings or economic reports so far.

The S&P 500 is now 6% off the multi-year high it closed at on April 29. It continues to be a broad-based pullback too. For the month so far, none of the Dow 30stocks are up, just 2% (or 10 stocks) in the S&P 500 is up, and all of the 10 S&P 500 sectors are down more than 2%.

The S&P 500 is hoping to avoid a 6-day losing streak today (Wednesday). However, if it ends the day in negative territory, the index will have been down in each of the first 6 trading days in June, falling 4.6% so far this month. The last time the S&P 500 started a month off with at least 6 straight declines was back in October 2008 — during the heart of the financial crisis.

The S&P started that fateful month down 8 straight days, crashing a shocking 22.9% during the period. Recall, that plunge happened as buzz circulated that the Treasury was looking at taking stakes in banks and occurred just after the House voted down the government’s $700 billion bailout bill.

The S&P 500 has rarely started the month down with 6 straight losses. Since 1980, it has only happened 5 times: December 1980, January 1991, June 1991, September 1991, and October 2008. However, only one of those times did the S&P end that month with a bigger decline than it had at the end of its big losing streak to start the month.

Big losing streaks to start the month:

Big Losing Streaks to Start the Month

Length of Streak
During Streak
End of Month
December 1980 9 days -9.4% -3.4%
January 1991 6 days -5.7% +4.2%
June 1991 6 days -2.9% -4.8%
September 1991 6 days -2.8% -1.9%
October 2008 8 days -22.9% -16.9%

How the major indices/sectors have performed so far this month:

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Symbol
Price
 
Change
%Change
DJIA
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S&P 500
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  • A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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