Executive Edge

History says Super Tuesday is last thing stock market needs right now

Key Points
  • The COVID-19 coronavirus has led to a two-day stock market pullback that wiped out the Dow Jones Industrial Average gain in 2020.
  • In the week ahead of the big primary day, both the Dow and S&P 500 tend to be losers. 
Coronavirus and Super Tuesday could bring a one-two punch to markets

Things are not going well for the stock market, and even if the pressure from the COVID-19 coronavirus that has wiped out the market's gain for the year eases in the days ahead, Super Tuesday looms and has rarely been a bullish indicator for stocks.

The stock market losses over the first two trading days of the week neared 2,000 points after a Dow Jones Industrial Average drop of more than 1,000 points on Monday, and another 800-plus points on Tuesday.

The number of coronavirus cases outside of China has jumped in countries, including Iran, Italy and South Korea, sparking fears of a global slowdown due to the spreading infectious disease — and fears that the U.S. will not be able to avoid its own epidemic.

And that's not even taking into account the fact that this week has been historically bearish for the markets due to politics. Next week 1,341 delegates from over a dozen states are up for grabs on Super Tuesday. In the week leading up to the major primary day, stocks tend to trade lower, according to a CNBC analysis of data from Kensho. Both the S&P 500 and the Dow trade negatively 83% of the time in the past six periods ahead of Super Tuesday, each losing an average of 0.7%.