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Valentine's stock pick? Go for the obvious choice

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Do any stocks move around Valentine's Day? It may be a cliche, but chocolate sales, which spike around Valentine's, are good news for chocolate giant Hershey's.

Since 1999, in the three days before and the seven days after Valentine's, Hershey's has traded up 94 percent of the time, according to our partners at Kensho. The average return was 3.9 percent. This is significant since the S&P 500 rose merely 0.3 percent on average during the same period.

It's also the time when the stock goes ex-dividend, so this may also be a factor in the stock rise.

Unfortunately, the relationship with other obvious Valentine plays is not very strong. My first guess was that jewelry plays like Tiffany and Zale would outperform in the days before and after Valentine's, but it turns out the performance of the jewelers is more random and often a function of the state of the economy.

Zale, for example, which was bought last year by Signet, was up only 37 percent of the time and exhibited no particular trading pattern.

Tiffany was better and rose 68 percent of the time but had only modest average gains of 0.9 percent. It was down 11 percent in the 10-day period in 2000 and down another 9 percent in 2009, which were also both difficult periods of time for the market.

  • 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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