October is known as the jinx month because of crashes in 1929, 1987, Friday the 13th in 1989 and the financial meltdown in 2008. Yet, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac, October is a "bear killer" and turned the tide in 11 post World War II bear markets.
The S&P 500 closed September 2011 down 7.2 percent, its worst monthly performance since May 2010 and worst September since 2008, when it fell 9.1 percent.
Is October a great time to buy stocks? In the past eleven years, the NASDAQ Composite has posted a gain of 2.2 percent, while the Dow and S&P 500 have averaged a return of 1.2 percent and 0.41 percent, respectively.
The table below highlights the in October compared to its returns in other months. Since 2000, it has been the index’s fifth best month.
Among the major S&P 500 sectors, technology has performed the best in the past eleven years, with an average gain of 4 percent in October.
Historic Performance in October
Dow since 1896:
S&P since 1928:
NASDAQ Composite since 1971:
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