The Santa Claus rally vs other trader lore

The "official" start of the Santa Claus Rally is this Wednesday. For those who forgot, the Santa Claus rally is the tendency for the S&P 500 to rise in the last five trading days of the year, and the first two of the new year. This has been good for an average 1.5 percent gain since 1950, according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.

This is different from:

1) The tendency for stocks to rise in general this time of year. December is the no. 1 month for the S&P 500. During the month, the index is up 1.7 percent on average since 1950, also according to the Stock Trader's Almanac.

2) The "Free Lunch" that is served before Christmas. Tax-loss selling usually results in several stocks and sectors selling on or near their lows around December 15th; those stocks and sectors will usually outperform the market by February 15th in the following year.

3) The "January Effect," the tendency of small-cap stocks to outperform big-cap stocks in January.

Read MoreThe perfect ingredients for a Santa Claus rally


1) Energy is opening weaker as oil is in the red. Over the weekend Saudi Arabia affirmed intentions to keep its oil output at current levels.

Everyone talks about oil, but have you seen what's happening with natural gas? It's down another 7 percent today to the lowest levels in 16 months as warm weather has curbed demand. And they will be above normal this week!

The 23-percent decline in nat gas is only half the 43 percent decline in crude, but still!

Read MoreSaudi Arabia sticks to budget despite oil's slide

The Marcellus shale is the largest gas field in the United States, and we are only scratching the surface. And it's growing 20 percent a year!

This relatively better decline has not stopped purer natural gas plays from getting clobbered just as much as their more "oily" counterparts:

Nat Gas names in 2014:

  • Bob Pisani

    A CNBC reporter since 1990, Bob Pisani covers Wall Street from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

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