Here's Everything You Need to Know About November

The common wisdom is “Sell in May and go Away.”

NYSE trader
Oliver Quilla for
NYSE trader

Well, now we’re all back, and here we are six months later. Is it time to buy? Does the reverse wisdom hold? Should we buy in November?

Here’s all the stats you need to know about November, including what stocks typically do best during this period.

Buying the indices in November and holding for six months has been historically a good long-term strategy:

The Dow since 1955 has been up 76 percent of the time from November 1 to May 1, for an average gain of 7.06 percent. The Nasdaq even better, up 71 percent of the time (28 of the past 39 years) for an average gain of 9.05 percent, and the S&P 500 has 72percent of the time since 1955 for an average gain of 6.45 percent.

November itself is typically an above average return month:

For the Dow since 1955, November has had an average return of 1.36 percent.

For the S&P, 1.46 percent.

For the Nasdaq, 1.63 percent.

What about the “lost decade” of the 00s? During this time the market (S&P 400) as a whole has fallen 20 percent but if you just held the Dow from November — May then you were up an average of 2.43 percent per year, despite a neagtive 12 percent performance from Nov, 2008 —May, 2009.

What about just holding the month of November in the lost decade? Again, not so bad: an average of 1.51 percent on the Dow during the month of November over the past 10 years. Even the Nasdaq, which suffered through both the dot-com bust and the financial crisis, is up an average of +0.94 percent in November over the past ten years.

What are some of the best stocks historically to buy in November? In the past ten years, Amazon has been up 70 percent of the time in the month of November with an average return of 8.7 percent.

Intuitive Surgical has been up 80 percent of the time with an average return of 5.43 percent (its only down years were 2008 and 2000).

Buffett holding Fiserv has been up 8 of the past 10 years (2007 and 2008 were down) with an average return of 6.43 percent during the month of November.

Urban Outfitters has been up 80 percent of the time in November for an average return of 8.25 percent. The only down years were 2000 and 2008. Priceline was the best stock to hold in November, 2008. Despite the financial crisis it was up 21 percent. Hansen National was up 14 percent in November, 2008.

What about Apple? Well, this might not be the best time for a trip to the orchard. Normally a superstar, Apple has only been up 50 percent of the time in November.

Any other statistical questions on November, feel free to ask in the comments here or follow me on twitter @jaltucher.


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