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Rough Path Ahead? September is Dow’s Worst Month

Tired of August? Well, here comes September. And that’s likely not good news for investors.

Since 1896, September has been the worst month for the Dow , with the index posting an average loss of 1 percent.

The average loss stands at 2 percent in the past 12 years.
During that period, there were 5 instances when the Dow fell more than 5 percent in September.

A glimmer of hope? In 5 of the last 7 Septembers the Dow managed finished the month in positive territory (Albeit the other 2 times, the Dow was down a solid -6 percent).

Here is a look at the Dow’s monthly performance:


There haven’t been many places to hide in September in recent years. Since 2000, six of the ten S&P 500 sectors averaged a decline greater than 1 percent.

Historic Performance in September

Dow since 1896:

  • On average, the Dow has lost -1.1 percent
  • Down 58 percent of the time
  • Best Sept. was in 1916, when it rose 12 percent
  • Worst was in 1931, when it fell -31 percent
  • On average, the Dow has lost -1.9 percent during Sept. when Aug. has been a positive month, down 85 percent of the time

S&P since 1928:

  • On average, the S&P has lost -1.2 percent
  • Down 55 percent of the time
  • Best Sept. was in 1939, when it rose 14 percent
  • Worst was in 1931, when it fell -31 percent
  • September on average ranks as the worst month out of the year for the S&P
  • On average, the S&P has lost -1.6 percent during Sept. when Aug. has been a positive month, down 75 percent of the time

NASDAQ Composite since 1971:

  • On average, the NASDAQ Composite has lost -0.67
  • Up 54 percent of the time
  • Best Sept. was in 1998, when it rose 13 percent
  • Worst was in 2001, when it fell -17 percent
  • September on average ranks as worst month out of the year for the NASDAQ
  • On average, the NASDAQ has lost -1.1 percent during Sept. when Aug. has been a positive month, down 55 percent of the time

bythenumbers.cnbc.com

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